The Mid-Prairie Golden Hawk baseball team came up one win short of a return trip to the state tournament Tuesday when they fell to Davis County 7-4 in the class 2A substate six final at Dick Sojka Memorial Field in Washington. In a game heard on AM and FM KCII, the Mustangs capitalized on chances early, scoring a pair in the first inning on two walks, three wild pitches and a double from Noah Zmolek. The Golden Hawks countered with a single run in the bottom half when Keegan Gingerich singled in Kayden Reinier. Davis County kept the pressure on scoring once more in the second and twice in the third, chasing Golden Hawk starter Aidan Rath after two and a third innings and holding a 5-1 advantage.
From there, Mid-Prairie began to chip away with two in the third when Karson Grout and Rath both scored and one more in the fourth when Grout doubled home Reinier to pull the Hawks within 5-4. That was as close as Mid-Prairie would get on the night. Davis County posted single insurance runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings to close out the victory. After the contest, Golden Hawk head coach Kyle Mullet talked about what he saw as the deciding factors on the night and his senior class. “Our pitchers got out to a slow start tonight. We walked too many batters, had some passed balls earlier. They jumped out 5-1. You mix a walk here and there and then a hit and all of a sudden you are looking up at a big inning. This time of year you can’t do those things. I thought we battled back from that well. Karson Grout was great at the plate tonight, hitting the ball really well. Keegan Gingerich had a big hit early. Will Cavanagh had a big hit. Grout had two or three hits tonight. After the game we talked about it tonight. You have to play clean baseball this time of year. Davis County is playing hot right now. They are swinging the bat well. Then I had to give some love to our seniors. A great group of seven guys, that mean a lot to me. I have been coaching them for five years. I was their freshman coach when they came up to high school. I enjoy coaching them more than I did playing. Seeing them grow over the last five years, that’s what it’s about.”
Davis County outhit Mid-Prairie 8-6 in the game, despite holding a team batting average 80 points below the Hawks for the year. The Mustangs also pitched better than their numbers, with sophomore Justin Mattheny throwing the complete game win against Mid-Prairie and holding them to four runs, despite having a team ERA of nearly six. Reinier led Mid-Prairie at the plate going two for four with two runs scored. Grout also had two hits with a run scored and an RBI. Gingerich and Will Cavanagh also added one hit a piece. Reinier had the best pitching outing for Mid-Prairie going three and two thirds innings, allowing two hits one run and striking out one. With the loss, the Golden Hawks fall one game short of a return trip to the state tournament, ending the year with a 19-8 overall record. Mid-Prairie says goodbye to seven seniors, Nathan Quinby, Kayden Reinier, Aidan Rath, Vinnie Bowlin, Keegan Brady, Jake Swartzendruber and Keegan Gingerich. Davis County advances to the state tournament for the first time since 2015. The Mustangs, with their 15-18 record will be in Carroll next week for the 2A championships.