Jaguars roll through state playoffs
West Jordan graduate Dylan Krans was selected Second Team All-State and has committed to the College of Southern Nevada to continue his baseball career. (Dylan Krans/WJ baseball)
By Greg James | firstname.lastname@example.org
An unexpected run for the West Jordan High School baseball team caused waves throughout the state baseball tournament. Lone Peak had its number twice, but not before the Jaguars bounced some of the state’s powerhouse teams out of the tournament.
“Playoff baseball is so exciting,” senior Dylan Krans said. “The atmosphere is so exciting. In the end it was sad; we did not end up exactly where we wanted to.”
The Jaguars qualified for the playoffs by finishing in fourth place in Region 3. They returned to the playoffs after missing the tournament last season. This year’s team continued the building process that second-year head coach Brady Bartholomew said includes a strong foundation of willing players.
“We have a group of young players that know what our expectations are,” Bartholomew said at the end of last season.
The Jaguars started the tournament against Lone Peak. The Knights were the No. 1 seed from Region 4, a very competitive region that had three teams with at least 20 wins this season. The Knights held the Jaguars to one hit in a 10-0 loss for West Jordan.
“I was given the opportunity to come in and pitch,” sophomore Jeff Egbert said. “As a sophomore, pitching in the varsity state playoffs was overwhelming, but we came together and did well.”
With the loss, the path to the championship changed; it now included several games in the one-loss bracket.
“There was a lot of doubt about how we would do going into the tournament,” Egbert said. “After our first game against Lone Peak, I felt we were underestimated. We picked up two huge wins against Northridge and Clearfield and got a boost of confidence headed in to play Lehi.”
A seventh-inning run against Northridge led to a 7-6 victory, and West Jordan came from behind again to knock Clearfield out by a score of 8-6.
Each win meant the season continued for the Jaguars.
The next team in the path of the Jaguars was the Lehi Pioneers. Lehi had finished second in Region 4. Egbert said they knew it would be a tough game, but several hundred Jaguar fans showed up to cheer the team on.
Jaguar senior Garrett McClellan threw a gem. In seven innings, he allowed six hits and struck out four. Michael Ponce also had three hits and led the Jaguars to a 4-1 victory. The Jaguars were now one of six teams remaining in the entire tournament.
“We really needed to stay positive and carry the energy we had from the last wins,” Egbert said.
Lone Peak again stood between the Jaguars and their goal.
Krans took the mound for the Jaguars. In six innings he allowed five hits, struck out four and allowed only one run. An outing worthy of the win, but the Jaguars could not muster any runs to pull it out. They fell to Lone Peak again 1-0.
“We proved a lot of people wrong and really showed what we can do,” Krans said.
It proved to be his last high school pitching performance. He has committed to continue his baseball and schooling at College of Southern Nevada. He was named Second Team All-State by the Deseret News.
“The support of our parents and students was incredible,” Bartholomew said. “We wanted to keep on going.”
West Jordan finished the season with a 17-10 overall record.