Winning is a habit Taylorsville can't seem to break. For the third consecutive year, T-Ville walked away with the American Legion state trophy, this time with a 6-5 victory Saturday night over St. George.
Tournament MVP Brent Taggart and pitcher Jon Lewis provided big championship-game performances to propel the Warriors.Taggart's ninth-inning, two-out RBI single proved to be the difference in the game.
Nick Humphries scored all the way from second, beating the throw from center fielder Kyle West, who was playing deep. Taggart, who batted .400 for the tournament with 8 RBIs, said he wasn't nervous during his last at-bat.
"I wanted to put the pressure on St. George, I felt really comfortable at the plate. I wanted to win one more with this group of guys," he said.
Also key in the victory was the pitching performance of Lewis, who went all nine innings.
Lewis gave up eight hits in the game, five of those coming in the third when St. George tied the game at 3-3.
Coach Dave Littlewood said he never felt uncomfortable with Lewis on the mound.
During the eighth, T-Ville committed two errors and failed to protect its lead, leaving the game tied at 5-5.
"That could've snowballed real quick, but Lewis didn't let it," said Littlewood.
After Taggart's heroics, Lewis closed out the ninth in quick fashion on two strikeouts and a ground ball.
"That was pure guts and adrenalin," Littlewood said. "He threw over 140 pitches. He wants the ball, that is the bottom line."
The title is the third consecutive for Taylorsville and the sixth in nine years. The team starts play in the American Legion regional tournament Friday in Las Vegas.
In postgame ceremonies, Taggart was awarded the MVP trophy as well as the best pitcher award. He won two games and had an ERA of 0.5.
Nathan Andrus won the best batter award because of his multiple RBIs.
Had St. George won Saturday night's game, the two teams would have played again today in the double-elimination tournament.