BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Tate Atkin, Headliner Sports Editor, May 26, 2022
The Bear River High baseball team opened the 2022 4A state baseball championship tournament with back-to-back victories at home versus the Sky View High Bobcats on May 12-13. With a Region 11 championship and two dominating performances in the first series of the tournament, the Bears were gaining steam as they packed up and headed to St. George for the Bracket Play portion of the tournament.
Their first matchup in St. George was against the Snow Canyon High Warriors on May 16. The Bears scored a run in the first inning before the Warriors answered with two runs of their own. Bear River answered right back, scoring three in the second and erupting with six runs in the third. Although Snow Canyon scored another run, it wasn't near enough as the Bears defeated the Warriors 12-3.
Senior Hunter Smoot had an outstanding game going 2-for-5 at the plate scoring two runs and driving in five RBIs including a double and a second inning three-run home run. Senior Hunter Harrow went 2-for-4 while scoring twice with three RBIs on two doubles. Harrow also got the win on the mound as he pitched five and two-thirds innings allowing three runs while striking out six batters.
With the win, the Bears advanced to the next round to face the Dixie High School Flyers on May 17. It was a pitching battle as both teams struggled on offense and had a hard time scoring any runs. Smoot again led the team offensively as he went 2-for-3. He also hit a triple. Senior Ashton Harrow pitched six innings allowing just two runs while striking out five. Unfortunately, the Bears' offense struggled and Smoot's single run was the only one for Bear River as they lost to the Flyers, 2-1.
That loss to Dixie High didn't end the Bear's season but it made things more challenging to reach the finals. In this double elimination state tournament, the Bears' next game was May 18, where they faced the Warriors from Snow Canyon High for the second time in the tournament. The loss to Dixie seemed to have taken its toll on the Bears as they struggled against Snow Canyon this time around falling to the Warriors, 11-1. This loss knocked the Bears out of the tournament and ended their outstanding season.
Although it was not the ending the Bear River High baseball had hoped for, their season will still go down as a success and full of many personal achievements and outstanding performances. Bear River closes out the season with a Region 11 championship and an overall record of 23-7.
The Bears will lose the leadership and talents of many seniors, including this year's Region 11 co-MVPs, cousins Ashton Harrow and Hunter Harrow, as well as other 1st Team All-Region seniors Alec Callister, Garrison Marble and Hunter Smoot.
The Bears will look to underclassmen to fill the holes left by the outstanding senior class going into next season but also return many talented and experienced younger players including 1st Team All-Region sophomore Gehrig Marble. Junior Ryker Jeppsen, sophomore Degan Rigby and sophomore Talon Marble, all of whom contributed to the season's success and gained varsity experience, will also return to the baseball field next year.
Bear River High vs. Dixie High, May 17, 2022 - Photos by John Fronk