A tense pitcher’s duel finally broke open in the sixth as the Gate City Grays fell to the Smithfield Blue Sox, 4-0, Saturday night, ending the Grays’ season in the first round of the Northern Utah League playoffs.
“Certainly, we were disappointed that we didn’t get the job done, but it was an intense, fast-paced game,” Grays manager Trent Seamons said. “There weren’t many mistakes or anything like that, it was just kind of the way it unfolded.”
In a deciding Game 3 of the first-round series between the No. 2 seeded Blue Sox and the No. 3 seeded Grays, Gate City’s Mason Foltz and Smithfield’s Zach Hansen matched zeroes for the first five innings, with neither letting a runner past second.
Foltz was the first to blink, giving up two walks and a single to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
Two consecutive errors followed, allowing the Blue Sox to score the first two runs of the game.
With runners on second and third and two outs, Tyler Walters put the nail in the coffin, doubling to center to score two and give Smithfield a 4-0 lead.
Gate City put the leadoff man on in the top of the seventh, but went down in order after that to end the game, and their season.
Hansen was the star of the game, throwing a complete-game shutout, giving up five hits, striking out seven and also going 2 for 2 with two doubles at the plate.
Foltz battled for the Grays, giving up just five hits and two walks in six innings and striking out four.
“Mason, he’s a smart pitcher,” Seamons said. “He’s got good stuff, he’s got the physical tools ... and he’s about the fiercest competitor you’ve ever met. He really wields that.”
Smithfield will face the Providence Wolverines in the three-game NUL championship series starting Monday.
SMITHFIELD BLUE SOX 4, GATE CITY GRAYS 0
Gate City 000 000 0 — 0 5 2
Smithfield 000 004 x — 4 5 0
Gate City — LP: M. Foltz.
Smithfield — WP: Z. Hansen. 2B: Z. Hansen 2, Walters.