OREM — Batters normally don't hit well in bad weather conditions.
But Monday afternoon, in bitter cold gusting winds, the bats of the Timpanogos Timberwolves and Provo Bulldogs were blistering hot. In a preseason slugfest the two teams combined for 34 hits, 12 of which were for extra bases, and 33 runs in conditions mostly fitting for sipping hot chocolate.
Provo's sticks were just a bit warmer than the T-Wolves as the Bulldogs rode an eight-run first inning and six-run seventh to post an 18-15 victory over the top-ranked 4A team.
"Our guys came here with a lot of confidence," Provo coach Lance Moore said. "They've been seeing the ball real well and they've seen some pretty tough pitching already."
The offensive fireworks began early as Provo's first eight batters reached base. The eight Bulldogs first-inning runs came from five singles, two walks, a Timpanogos' error and a two-run double from Andrew Law. The Bulldogs added one run in the second and three in the third on a Bryce Ayoso three-run homer to take a 12-3 lead.
But in the T-Wolves' half of the third, they began to inch back with a five-run inning. The big hit was a two-run double over the third-base bag from Greg Decker. Timpanogos tied the game with four more runs in the fourth inning. Alex Lyons knocked in two runs with his second triple of the game and Decker knocked in another with his second of three doubles for the game.
A towering shot by Ryder Olsen over the center field wall in the fifth put the T-Wolves on top for the first time 13-12.
Trailing by one, Provo batters stepped to the plate in the seventh facing Decker, who took over for starter Micah Lisonbee in the second and had held the Bulldogs scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Provo put the tying and go-ahead runs on base with two straight singles. The game's key played occurred next, when Decker scooped up a sacrifice bunt and fired it to third. But third-basemen Brandon Miller forgot there was a force and tried to tag the runner — dropping the ball.
The Bulldogs forced in the game-tying run when, with the bases loaded, Dave McGarry was hit with a hanging curveball. Provo went ahead when Curtis Porter singled off the pitcher's foot. And Tucker Lougee blew the game open when he followed with a bases-clearing double off the center-field wall. Lougee also pitched the final three innings to earn the win.
"We hit a lot of line drives today and I'm really pleased with our batters' approach at the plate," Moore said.
Leading Provo's 20-hit attack was Craig Stringham, who reached base five times with four singles and a walk. Ayoso had two singles to go with his three-run homer. McGarry had a single, a double and a triple.
The loss was the first in five games for Timpanogos, while Provo's record improves to 3-1. The game was scheduled for Provo's field but was moved to Timpanogos because of muddy conditions at the the Bulldogs diamond.
In other games Monday:
PARK CITY 4, BEN LOMOND 3:Jeremy Kilgore fired a complete-game seven-hitter and fanned nine in leading the Miners. Ben Lomond had only one baserunner after the third inning.
CLEARFIELD 11, KEARNS 1:Chris Jackson pitched a solid game, and also helped his cause at the plate by belting out a grand slam in the second inning to lead the Falcons. Mike Hampton also added a home run and double for Clearfield.
SKYLINE 14, HIGHLAND 4:Nate Thompson had eight strikeouts in four innings to lead the Eagles.
OREM 15, LEHI 3:Devin Wilkins scored four runs and sophomore Matt McCoy struck out six in five innings to lead the Tigers.