Silverwolves Strive For Baseball Balance
Jun 15, 2016 09:28AM
● By Greg James
Silverwolves senior Clint Salter has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Otero Community College in Colorado after graduation. Photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com
By Greg James | [email protected]
It is the end of an era for Riverton senior Clint Salter. He wipes his brow, steps on the mound and unleashes his final high school pitch. It hits the mark on the outside corner, strike three and the Silverwolves capture their final victory in a roller coaster season.
Salter was all aces in his final appearance for the Silverwolves. He allowed three hits and struck out nine Herriman Mustangs. The 9-0 victory marked the end of his career and the season for his team.
“It was a nice way to finish the year and quite a performance by our team,” Salter said. “I think the year ended great. I wish it could have been different through the year, but I am excited for the future. Riverton has taught me how to grow up and at times to bear down and keep going.”
The 6-foot-2-inch senior pitcher has signed a letter of intent to continue playing baseball after high school at Otero Community College.
“I think we provide a good program and base for these kids to continue after high school,” Silverwolves head coach Jay Applegate said. “It really comes down to the kids. They need to have the talent. I call it baseball balance. They come to practice every day early and work on stuff they need and do not complain when things do not go their way. Kids that have the desire and are resilient are going to get there.”
Senior catcher Skyler Davis has signed at Utah Valley University, Caden Carr has had interest from schools and Kaden Wilson is still weighing his options. Davis is a two-time all-region selection and will join fellow Riverton graduate Jeff Arens at UVU.
Despite the final victory, the 2016 season was a slight disappointment. The Silverwolves finished in fifth place with a 7-11 regular season record. They were four games behind Pleasant Grove in the standings. They missed the state playoffs for the second straight season.
“It was roller coaster season,” Applegate said. “We had a lot of walks early on this season, and that came back to haunt us. We lost several games in the final innings, but toward the end I have seen a lot of energy.”
The Silverwolves lost eight games by two or fewer runs.
“I feel that we did not reach many of our goals, but we emphasized that this is a great laboratory for life,” Applegate said. “If you can get up one more time after you fall then it is a success. Things may not have worked out for us with wins and losses this year, but we saw a lot of positive things happen in our program.”
Seven seniors will graduate and leave the Silverwolves program after this school year. They include Davis, Salter, Carr, Wilson, Stone Gibbons, Jake White and Erik Nelson.
The Silverwolves’ last appearance in the state tournament was 2014. They are 55-47 since 2011 and won a Region 4 championship in 2013. Many underclassmen were able to garner experience this season. Applegate hopes that will lead to more success next year.