Mother Nature had the best stuff Monday. After setting up the boys of summer all season with high heaters outside, she threw a big curve at the American Legion State Tournament Monday. A big, wet curve, that is.
Even amid the wet and windy weather, all eight scheduled games were completed on the first day of the week-long tournament at Oquirrh Park.In the final game of the day, Alta's Clint Salisbury sparkled in a no-hit shutout pitching effort against Pleasant Grove. Salisbury, who had six strikeouts and three walks, wasn't overpowering, but he mixed his pitches well, keeping the Pleasant Grove batters off-balance. Alta won, 5-0.
"He kept his composure and didn't get wrapped up in it," Alta's coach Michael McNary said about Salisbury's performance.
Salisbury did get some solid defensive help, too. Third baseman Russ Rains made several outstanding defensive plays to help preserve the no-hitter.
"The 16 best teams in the state are here, you're not going to get the big runs like you did in the regular season," McNary said. "All in all, defense is going to win the tournament. I'm happy with (the win), we did what we had to do."
Viewmont 14, Brighton 13
Kevin Lindsey had four hits, including two doubles, and five RBI to lead Viewmont, the second seed from the Northern Division, past Brighton, Valley's third seeded team. McEwan Bender knocked a three-run triple in the seventh to clinch the victory.
St. George 1, Cyprus 0
Mason Fox had a no-hitter going part way through the seventh inning for St. George. With one out in the seventh, Brandon Smalling spoiled the no-hitter with an infield single, but Fox got the next batter to hit into a double play to preserve the shutout. Cyprus' John Eyre also threw a one-hitter in this outstanding matchup between pitchers.
Granger 16, Ogden 5
Granger exploded for 16 runs in this lopsided victory that was called short because of the nine-run lead rule. Scott Beames, the Valley League All-Star game MVP, and Eddy Berrest both hit two-run homers.
West 2, Payson 1
Ben Byrd continued to dominate from the mound as he threw 12 strikeouts and gave up only two hits. Byrd doubled in the seventh and then scored the winning run from third after Brian Ashbaker was hit by a pitch.
Tooele 10, Bountiful 2
Scott Pratt struck out 11 batters and helped himself by adding a two-run homer for Tooele. Brian McBeth had a three-run homer and Jeff Cluff also had a two-run dinger in the winning effort.
Taylorsville 8, Woods Cross 4
The defending Legion champions won, but struggled a bit defensively with three errors. Chad Miller led T-Ville with a couple of run-scoring doubles.
Bingham 10, Cache Valley 7
In the biggest upset of the day, Bingham, who had to win four games last week just to qualify, surprised Cache Valley, the northern champs. Bingham scored four runs in the sixth to beat Cache, which had a perfect 24-0 league record.