With Brighton's 20-game winning streak at stake, Taylorsville's Jon Lewis made sure he wasn't the one to deal out No. 21.
While delivering a stingy hand to Brighton batters all game, the 6-foot-2 righthanded pitcher allowed just two hits in Taylorsville's 8-1 win Tuesday at the American Legion state tournament."We played really well in all aspects of the game tonight (but) Jon's pitching was the key all night," said Taylorsville coach Dave Littlewood of his pitcher who had five strikeouts in the complete game performance.
Almost more impressive than what Lewis actually did, was that he pitched so well against the hottest team in the tournament.
Brighton had won each of its first two tourney games in the nine-run mercy rule, beating Smithfield 18-2 and Valley's top-seeded team Skyline 12-3. Taylorsville, meanwhile, had struggled in slim one-run wins over Pleasant Grove and West Jordan.
At first, though, it appeared Lewis was heading into some problems as he walked the first batter he faced and then hit the next one with a wild pitch. He later atoned that inning with a successful pick-off play and escaped without giving up any runs.
"I struggled at first, but once I got past that first inning it felt good," said Lewis, who took a no-hitter into the fourth inning.
A towering solo homer by Joe Nichols broke up his no-hitter and shutout bid, but that proved to be the extent of Brighton's offensive attack.
Taylorsville, meanwhile, spread out eight hits and scored a run in each of the first four innings, then put the game away with a four-run fifth frame. Brent Taggart had the hot bat, notching a solo home run shot and a two-run triple.
Along with a crisp defensive effort, the team turned in another textbook Taylorsville game which has led to three consecutive championships.
"We just can't beat them. Taylorsville always plays us tough," said Brighton coach Dennis Mangrum. "I don't know what they have - they must have the hex on us or something."
Taylorsville will play St. George tonight at 8 p.m. on the north diamond. Ironically, St. George coach Barry Sceili was Littlewood's coach several year's ago at Taylorsville.
Along with the St. George-Taylorsville game, Wednesday's schedule includes Viewmont battling Tooele at 4:30 p.m., Alta against Brighton at 5 p.m. and Hillcrest will face Smithfield at 7:30 p.m.
In Tuesday's other tournament games:
St. George 7, Tooele 1
Nate Andrus and Kyle West each had three hits, while Shane Mortensen added a pair of hits and RBI to lead St. George to a commanding win. Brandon Wood struck out eight batters for the win.
Smithfield 3, West Jordan 2
Pitcher Mike Kooyman held West Jordan to just two runs and also had a two-run single to lead Smithfield. Brad Peterson scored on a wild pitch for the go-ahead run in the fifth.
Hillcrest 11, Granger 5
Michael Gargano homered and doubled while teammate Monte Ruttenbur hustled for two triples as Hillcrest eliminated Granger.
Alta 5, Layton 3
Tyler Perry had two of Alta's four hits and drove in two runs. Alta scored three times in the bottom the sixth to take the lead for good. James Atwood had a two-run dinger for Layton.
Viewmont 11, Skyline 2
Viewmont jumped on the scoreboard quickly with six runs in the first inning. Jason Rigby popped a three-run shot out of the park in the fourth as the North's top team ousted the Valley's top team from the tourney.