Corner Canyon Goes to First State Baseball Tournament
Jun 09, 2016 10:18AM
By Ron Bevan
Caydon Lawson gets a hit in an earlier Corner Canyon baseball game. Lawson, a senior, hit seven extra-base hits this year.
By Ron Bevan | [email protected]
Baseball play at Corner Canyon has improved dramatically in just three years. Once the new kid on the block and subject to a bit of bullying, now the Chargers are letting their bats do the talking.
“Our offense carried us throughout this season,” Corner Canyon baseball coach Daron Connelly said. “We hit the ball extremely well this year.”
The offense has carried Corner Canyon into the state playoffs for the first time in the school’s three-year history. A 16-8-1 season culminated in a third-place finish for the Chargers and a berth into the state 4A tournament.
“It was one of our goals this year, to make the state playoffs,” Connelly said. “Obviously our top goal was to win region. If that’s not your goal, why even play? But we did finish third and made the state playoffs and I am happy with how our boys have played this year.”
Corner Canyon’s 2014 inaugural season produced just five wins, typical for a new school that usually begins with a small senior class, as did Corner Canyon. Last year’s team doubled the win column to 10.
But the 2016 campaign brought with it several players who had been on the team from the beginning. The experiences gained over the first two years produced a toughened Charger squad. Not only did the win column again jump higher, but the team also battled throughout the losses, several of which could have been victories if not for a skip of a ball or missed play.
“Timpanogos was undefeated when we got them,” Connelly said. “We played them pretty good, and hit the ball well. We just happened to hit right at people and then we left runners in scoring positions.”
Connelly credits a tough go with Orem as a turning point for the Chargers. Corner Canyon dropped the three-game stand with Orem, but had played them close and lost one by only one run.
“We were in it for all three games,” Connelly said. “We could have beat them in all three. We definitely out hit them. But we struggled on defense and made 18 errors. You can’t make 18 errors in three games against a good team.”
The boys seemed to learn something from the losses.
“We licked our wounds and regrouped,” Connelly said. “We then went on a little streak and won six straight games.”
Connelly credits the leadership of his six seniors that have been on the team from the start. Seniors Brayden Erickson, Tommy Groskreutz, Braden Larson, Caden Lawson, Calvin Millich and Jake Perry were instrumental in keeping another fairly young Charger team focused on the team goals.
Brayden shined on the mound for Corner Canyon, capturing five of the wins as a pitcher and losing only once. Calvin, as team captain, led the team in batting, hitting one home run, four triples and six doubles this year.
“Millage was a great team captain,” Connelly said. “He was the first one at practice and the last to leave. His hard work paid off as he had a .411 batting average.”