Taylorsville pitcher Brandon Lyon worked himself into a pretty big pickle Tuesday night, and he needed someone to get him out of it.
Teammate Ryan Woodbury responded."I was a little nervous," Lyon said after giving way to Woodbury in the seventh. "But I had the feeling that he would come through."
After Lyon surrendered three runs on three hits in the bottom of the seventh, Woodbury inherited runners on second and third, the potential tying and winning runs, with one out.
Woodbury got Alta's Jared Colton to ground out, then struck out Mike Goff to preserve Taylorville's 6-5 victory over the Hawks in 5A state quarterfinal baseball action at Ken Price Park.
"I felt good going into the seventh," Lyon said. "Then they started figuring out what I was doing and getting on me."
Woodbury faced a similiar situation in last year's state tournament also against Alta but blew that opportunity. This time it was different.
With the victory, the Warriors move on to battle Hillcrest, a 16-6 winner over Brighton, at 7 p.m. at Serge B. Simmons Field in Ogden. In loser-out games, Skyline, a 7-6 winner over Cottonwood, battled Alta at 1:30 p.m. and Highland, a 14-4 winner over Northridge, faced Brighton at 4:30 p.m.
Lyon and Alta starter Chris Paulsen were like boxers trading jabs in the first three innings. Lyon faced only two hitters over the minimum in the first five innings in striking out eight of his 12 hitters on the night. Paulsen was equally impressive as he retired the side in two of the first three innings before Taylorsville broke it open.
In the fourth, J.P. Candelaria singled and Lyon walked. After two outs, Justin Muramoto walked and Rocky Elsasser delivered a two-run single to make it 2-0. Moments later Dallas Lucero singled home two more to increase T-Ville's lead to 4-0.
Alta finally found a seam in Lyon's armor in the sixth as Colton scored Matt Lawson, who doubled to start the inning, and Murph Norris, who sinlged, with a double to cut the lead to 4-2.
The Warriors added two huge insurance runs in the seventh on a two-run homer by Lyon, before Alta mounted its seventh-inning charge.
Chris Nelson was hit by a pitch, Darin Elgren reached on an error and Shane Heugly singled. After Lawson struck out, Norris singled home Nelson and Jake Shortino belted a two-run double to cut the lead to 6-5 where it ended as Woodbury slammed to door with the tying and winning runs in scoring postiion.
Norris finished with three hits for Alta.
In other action:
Skyline 8, Cottonwood 7 (8): Cory Clements squeezed home Phil Downing in the bottom of the eighth for the game-winner. Jason Anderson went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI, while Jake Daynes went 2-for-5 for the Colts.
Jeff Rossi earned the win in relief by firing five innings of no-hit ball while striking out seven.
Highland 14, Northridge 4: Luke Geddes, Creighton Scott, Jess Leonard and Steve Cagen all had three hits in Highland's 16-hit attack as the Rams elinimated the Knights. Gasvin Van Wagoner fired the complete-game six hitter.
Damien Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with a homer for the Knights.
Hillcrest 16, Brighton 6: Hillcrest's Mike Gargano went 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBI and pitched a complete-game seven-hitter to lead the Huskies past Brighton. Hillcrest's Nate Bowlden went 3-for-5 with two doubles, while Brighton's Mike Gasik went 2-for-3 with a homer and teammate Riley Nichols belted a grand slam.