The Kanab Cowboys started the defense of their 2A state title in excellent fashion last Saturday with two big wins.

Kanab hammered North Sevier 14-1 in their first game, eliminating the Wolves from the tournament. In the other forst round contest, Region 14 champion South Summit shut out Millard 11-0 to advance. The Cowboys then edged the Wildcats 3-1 in their matchup.

With the win over South Summit, Kanab advances to the state tournament in the winner’s bracket, just three victories away from repeating as champions.

Justin Orton threw six strong innings against North Sevier. Dustin Reidhead ended the game in the sixth with a grand slam home run to put the Cowboys up by 13 runs.

Orton’s number was called once again in the final inning against South Summit when the potential tying run came to the plate with no outs. The senior came through, retiring three straight batters to get the save.

Craig Brinkerhoff threw the first four innings. Dustin Reidhead came on in relief and threw two solid innings, before the first two batters in the seventh inning reached base. Clinging to a slim 3-1 lead, head coach Mason Fox brought in his ace Orton to end the game. The trio combined to no-hit the Wildcats.

Tyrell Reidhead provided the big hit in the top of the sixth when he ripped a double to the fence to break a 1-1 tie. Payton Jesus followed his hit with a triple to give Kanab an insurance run. The two Cowboys got their hits of Wildcat ace Denver Hansen, who suffered his first loss of the season.

Kanab made all the important plays, which you have to do at this time of the year, stretching their win streak to seven straight tournament games.

Coach Fox said, “We’ve been through battles like this before. Last year, these same guys helped out a lot. These guys are tough kids. They’re not going to give up or give in.”

With the two wins, Kanab will face Beaver on Thursday at UVU in Orem at 1:30 p.m. The Beavers defeated Layton Christian and Gunnison to advance.

In the other bracket, Region 13 champion Parowan will take on Region 15 champion San Juan at 11 a.m. Parowan shut out Grand 11-0 and defeated South Sevier 10-5. San Juan had a bye in the first round and then pounded Enterprise 11-1 to advance.

Good luck Cowboys!