Taylorsville 4, Cedar City 2
KEARNS — Taylorsville had hot bats early and built on a 2-0 first inning lead to edge Cedar City 4-2 in the American Legion baseball tournament at Oquirrh Park in Kearns on Friday.
But it was pitcher Matt Shepherd who stole the show.
Shepherd, who blew three straight pitches past Cedar City designated hitter Chad Shipp to end the game, struck out 12 and recorded the first complete game of his career.
"He was flat-out nasty tonight," said Taylorsville coach Travis Ewing. "He gutted up, picked up his teammates and got a game. That was what we needed on a night like tonight."
Shepherd, who heard trash-talk from the other bench early, used his slider to get past Cedar City batters.
"They weren't hitting it, so that's what I relied on," Shepherd said.
Taylorsville got on the board early when left fielder Mike Lewis laid a bunt down the third-base line and reached first safely with two out. First baseman Dan Wright followed with a line drive up the middle, and Lewis and Wright advanced to second and third after a pitch got by Cedar City catcher Mike Platt. Lewis crossed the plate when Chris Mower's fly was dropped by Cedar City right fielder James Platt, and Wright also came home to make it 2-0.
Taylorsville struck again in the top of the fifth when Cedar City shortstop Jeff Oliverson's throw got away from first baseman Corrom Rossman. Magana, who reached on a double and was bunted over to third by Lewis, put Taylorsville up 3-1. A fourth run came in the top of the ninth, when Taylorsville second baseman Andy Swanson scored on a wild pitch.
Cedar City's runs came in the bottom of the second when Rossman doubled in Platt, who drew a base on balls after getting plunked on a 1-1 pitch from Shepherd. Cedar City also scored during a two-out rally, when a pitch got past Taylorsville catcher Curt Bowen.
Taylorsville, undefeated in the tournament, meets Copper Hills today at Oquirrh Park at 5 p.m. A win earns Taylorsville the championship, but a Copper Hills victory means the two teams will play a doubleheader.