Though one was heartbroken and the other was reveling, both coaches left the ballpark after the Taylorsville-St. George game with the same thought.
Unbelievable.In fact, that's the word Taylorsville coach Dave Littlewood used to describe pitcher Brent Taggart's performance in its 4-3 extra-inning victory over St. George at the American Legion state tournament Wednesday night.
Ironically, after watching 13 of his batters go down on strikeouts to Taggart, St. George coach Barry Scieli felt the same way.
"That's far and away the best pitching performance my kids have seen all year," said Scieli about the outstanding pitching display by Taggart, who limited St. George to just one earned run on four hits in eight innings.
To rub more salt in St. George's wound, it was Taggart who crossed the plate with the winning run after clean-up hitter Brandon Ballard pounded a line-drive with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
"He was unbelievable tonight," Littlewood repeated about Taggart. "Every time they had momentum, he would do something to just take it back."
The best example of that came in the top of the sixth inning after Kyle West boomed a towering homer that seemed to go as high as it did far to give St. George a 3-2 lead. Taggart then gave up a single, but managed to pick-off the runner for the first out. He then struck out the following two batters, ending the inning and the momentum shift.
Offensively, the Taylorsville attack was led by Ballard, who went 3-for-3 with two RBI, including the game-winner.
"He hung it, so I hit it," said Ballard of the slow curveball he knocked into left field. He took a walk with the bases loaded to tie up the game in the bottom of the sixth for his other RBI.
As the only undefeated team left in the tourney, Taylorsville earned a bye from Thursday's action and will resume at 7:30 p.m. Friday against the winner of tonight's Hillcrest-Alta game, 8 p.m. start. St. George faces Tooele tonight at 7 p.m. in the other matchup.
In Wednesday's other tournament action:
Hillcrest 4, Smithfield 2 (8)
Three walks led to two Hillcrest runs in the eighth inning, despite not getting a hit. Ryan Flox also homered for Hillcrest which advances into the field of five.
Tooele 6, Viewmont 3
Scott Pratt went 3-for-3 and pitched a five-hitter to lead the Tooele charge over Viewmont.
Alta 10, Brighton 6
Griff Christensen nailed a grand slam in the top of the seventh inning to break a 6-6 tie and put Alta up for good. Tyler Perry also hit a homer for Alta.