Snow Canyon Little League becomes first team from Utah to reach Little League World Series

·3 min read
Snow Canyon Little League won the Mountain West regional, and will be the first team from Utah to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Snow Canyon Little League won the Mountain West regional, and will be the first team from Utah to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Snow Canyon Little League made history on Friday afternoon, becoming the first team from Utah to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania after beating Nevada 7-3 in the Mountain Region Final on Friday afternoon.

The little leaguers from Santa Clara went a perfect 3-0 in Mountain Region play.

“It’s kind of surreal still to be the first team from Utah and the first team from the Mountain Region. I think that’s going to take some time to set in,” said head coach Mark Ence. “I’m just proud of the coaches. I couldn’t be here without our other two coaches and proud of the kids for being resilient. Two of the three games we started out down and had to come back.”

Snow Canyon beat Wyoming 7-4 on Sunday and walked off against Nevada on Tuesday to win 5-4.

Against Paseo Verde Little League on Tuesday night, the team trailed 3-0 in the first inning before mounting a comeback, cemented by a double from Colton Gainey to send Santa Clara into the championship game.

Gainey’s walk-off gained the attention of Governor Spencer Cox and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.

“When we mentioned that stuff to the kids and they kind of looked at each other like ‘oh, that’s awesome’, and for the most part emotionally these kids have been level-headed," Ence said. "I think it’s the coaches that have been more emotional than them."

On Friday afternoon in a rematch with Nevada, Kolby Lameroux played the hero, with five RBIs including a three-run home run to center field to put Snow Canyon ahead 5-2.

“He’s hit really well all week for us,” said Ence. “He had a couple of hits for us on Tuesday and then Friday he was on fire. He had a single and then hit that three-run home run to kind of seal the deal for us.”

Ence said that he knew his team could compete right away when the club was formed this summer.

“We were pretty confident that we could compete at the state level,” said Ence. “Knowing that we were going to compete in the new Mountain Region- this is the first year they’ve done that- we were excited that we didn’t necessarily have to play the Hawaiis or the southern California teams. We were excited to win state and go to San Bernardino and once we go there, we figured we could compete.”

Snow Canyon Little League won the Mountain West regional, and will be the first team from Utah to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Snow Canyon Little League won the Mountain West regional, and will be the first team from Utah to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

In making it to the Little League World Series, Ence’s team will field the only girl at Williamsport in Fallyn Randall.

Randall was one of four girls to play in regional play.

“She’s pretty quiet and competitive so she brings that quiet competitiveness to our team,” Ence said. “Super important position, second in the lineup, so she’s putting the ball in play for us. Just a great overall player for us, a great girl.”

Snow Canyon High School head coach Reid Secrist has reached out to Ence and his staff to wish them well, as have MLB players and others around the country.

“Families came and supported us, but Utah as a whole community has come together.”

The team arrived in Williamsport on Saturday morning and had already met and traded pins with kids from New York, Indiana, and Panama.

“You go into the lunchroom here and obviously there are a lot of teams from America but there’s teams from Australia, Mexico, Canada, Panama. It’s just crazy.”

Snow Canyon will play the winner of the Southeast vs. New England game on Friday at 1 p.m. on ESPN.

Sean Ellertson is a sports reporter for the St. George Spectrum & Daily News. To continue to support his work, please subscribe to The Spectrum. Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanEllertson.

This article originally appeared on St. George Spectrum & Daily News: Snow Canyon Little League team to represent Utah in Word Series