What would you do? Your team trails by a run with one out in the bottom of the seventh. You've got runners on first and second with the ninth hitter due up.
That was the predicament Murray coach Bill Siebenberg found himself in Thursday afternoon in the 4A state baseball tournament.Due up for the Spartans in the ninth spot was Jesse Bullock, who had gone hitless in three previous at-bats, and is the definition of a streak hitter.
"He'll go 0-11 then get three or four hits in a row. He'll hit everything for awhile, then he won't hit anything," Siebenberg said. "I looked over at one of my coaches who signaled for a pinch hitter, but I shook him off."
Siebenberg rolled the dice and Bullock made him look like a genius. Bullock stroked a fastball deep to left field. Ken Hardy never had a chance. By the time he got to the ball and relayed it home two runs had scored and the Spartans were celebrating a stunning 9-8 win over Provo.
"I thought, `I've just got to do it,' " Bullock said. "Coach usually makes me wear my hair tucked inside my hat (he has shoulder-length hair), but I let it out of my hat for luck and it worked."
Provo took an 8-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but John McGarry got into immediate trouble when he walked Rusty Bentley to lead off the seventh inning. McGarry then beaned Tyler Nevenner. Nate Robinson then flew out to center field. Mike Brady followed by hitting a shallow fly to center field that Provo's Bryce Barnes looked like he would catch on the run, but the ball popped out of Barnes' glove. The error allowed a run to score and cut the Bulldog lead to 8-6.
Casey Davies then fisted a single down the third-base line to score another run.
That set the stage for Bullock's heroics.
"I really thought we'd be here tommorrow," said Provo coach Vance Law. "The key to holding a lead is to get the leadoff batter so they don't feel like they've got anything going. This is probably the worst loss I've ever experinced. I've had my day in the sun, I just wanted these seniors to experience a win at this stage."
Provo led 5-1 in the fourth and 7-3 in the fifth thanks in large part to the hitting of Barnes, who homered and went 2-for-4. Zack Ellison also had two hits and drove in two runs.
Tooele 10, East 2: Trent Pratt pitched a complete game four-hitter to lead the Buffaloes to the 4A title game with a 10-2 win over East.
Since Tooele has yet to lose, Murray must beat the Buffaloes twice in Friday's championship game to keep Tooele from winning the title.