Homerun Finish For The Rams – First Time Making Playoffs Since 2005

Junior+Max+Moore+up+to+bat+for+the+Highland+Rams+during+their+game+against+the+Viewmont+Vikings+on+Tuesday%2C+May+15.
Junior Max Moore up to bat for the Highland Rams during their game against the Viewmont Vikings on Tuesday, May 15.

Junior Max Moore up to bat for the Highland Rams during their game against the Viewmont Vikings on Tuesday, May 15.

Lauren Brown

Lauren Brown

Junior Max Moore up to bat for the Highland Rams during their game against the Viewmont Vikings on Tuesday, May 15.

Lauren Brown, Sports Editor

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After 13 years, the curse was broken this season as the Highland Rams baseball team finally made it to the playoffs.

However, the road there wasn’t an easy one. Before the Rams were guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, they had to beat the West High Panthers in two of their three games played in the series the last week of region. The Rams took the first game while the Panthers won the second game. After an intense game, Highland ended up winning the third game, and made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

They finished region with a record of 6-9, and prepared to face the Viewmont Vikings and the Provo Bulldogs in the playoffs.

On Tuesday, May 15, Highland played their first playoff game at Viewmont High School. Both teams fought hard, but the Rams ended up losing with a final score of 7-3. Senior Spencer Thomas pitched for the Rams, and at the top of the third inning, the score was 1-1. However, the Vikings started hitting off Thomas and started pulling ahead in the bottom of that inning. They scored three more runs, and the score was 4-1.

The Rams had a chance to score more runs in the top of the fourth inning when bases were loaded. But due to a strikeout and a line drive that was caught by the Vikings’ first baseman, they were unable to decrease the Vikings’ lead. Similar to the third inning, the Vikings pulled ahead once more during the bottom of the fourth inning. The Vikings scored three more runs, and the score was 7-1.

Highland had one more chance to catch up in the top of the seventh inning. They scored two more runs, but it wasn’t enough. The Vikings beat the Rams in their first playoff game, 7-3.

“We are a much better team than the way we played,” senior Cole Peterson said. “But no matter what the score was, we never gave up. We battled until the last out.”

Even though Highland lost their first game, they still had another chance the next day, May 16, against Provo High School, in what would end up being a do-or-die game. Because playoffs in baseball are double elimination, the Rams had to win this game or their season would be over.

The teams were pretty evenly matched in the first few innings, and the Rams were even in the lead, 3-1, going into the fourth inning. However, the bottom of the fourth inning was huge for the Bulldogs. They scored seven runs off of pitcher Graydon Lambert. The score was 8-3, and the Rams realized they needed to make a comeback. In the top of the fifth inning, the Rams scored four runs, cutting the Bulldogs’ lead to only one. But the Rams couldn’t pull back into the lead at all, and ultimately lost with a final score of 10-8.

Although the Rams lost their first two playoff games, they are very proud of what they accomplished this season.

“It means the world changing the culture of Highland baseball,” Peterson said. “Just knowing that one other senior and I made the playoffs is overwhelming. It took us four years, but we did it and that’s all that matters.”

Peterson, Thomas, and the rest of the 2018 Highland baseball team have completely turned a new leaf for the program. Making the playoffs this year was a good learning experience for the younger players, as well as the ultimate goal for Peterson and Thomas. As a team, they may not have made it far into the playoffs, but they did make it farther than anyone would have imagined, and that is something to celebrate. Players that are returning next season can use the outcome of this season to fuel their motivation for next year, and Peterson and Thomas can leave Highland baseball this year knowing they gave it their all and, in the end, broke the curse that has been haunting them for the past 13 years.

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Homerun Finish For The Rams – First Time Making Playoffs Since 2005