Brighton baseball coach Greg Hales was pleased by his team's performance Tuesday afternoon. His team did not play perfect baseball, but it did improve in an aspect that the coaches have been emphasizing.
"We played well down the stretch. It wasn't the prettiest, but when it counted we did what we needed to," said Hales. "We've been trying to work on finishing games, and not just starting them."
The Bengals finished off Skyline 5-2 in a preseason contest.
Matt Stowell pitched a solid game for the Bengals. After getting out of an erratic first inning — Stowell walked the first hitter and beaned the third — the Brighton hurler settled down. He scattered five hits, and gave up only one run in five innings of work. "I was proud of Matt. He didn't have his best stuff, but he did the job," Hales said. "I kept asking him after each inning if he wanted to go, and even though he was tired, he kept wanting to pitch." Stowell worked his way out of several jams. In each of the first four innings the Eagles would leave runners in scoring position.
The Bengal offense was finding ways to manufacture runs. Brandon Walters led off the second inning with a walk. Brighton executed a perfect hit-and-run as Ben Tingey ripped the next pitch to right field. With Walters in motion, he easily reached third. Easton Wade then doubled to score Walters, and in a call that was typical of the Bengal base running, Tingey advanced to third. He scored on a wild pitch. Mike Wilkinson knocked in the third RBI of the inning with a single.
The base running of the Bengals continually put pressure on the Eagles. Although they were caught stealing three times, it was plays like the hit-and-run, or a call to go to third, that helped Brighton score its runs. "We want everyone to be able to run the bases. It doesn't matter, fast or slow, everyone should be able to do it," said Hales.
The Bengals' running helped them pick up an insurance run in the sixth. After a single a walk, Tingey singled in an RBI. He then stole second; the throw to second bounced off his foot and away from the Eagles. Tingey scored on the throwing error.
Trent Olson entered in the sixth inning to relieve Stowell. Brighton allowed Taylor Pendley on with an error, and Olson walked two of the next three hitters. Pendley scored on an RBI ground out by Ryan Hayes. The inning ended however, on a play at the plate. After a wild pitch, Bengal catcher Brandon Walters quickly retrieved the errant pitch at the backstop and turned and fired to a covering Olson to nail the Eagle runner. Olson retired Skyline in the seventh, again with a runner in scoring position. It was a day of missed opportunities for the Eagles."I am glad to pick up this win now. That team is going to be a pretty good Skyline team. They just didn't have their best swings today," added Hales. "Plus we need this now because once we start region play it is all magnified. We recognize you have to play your best just to get a win. Nobody gives you a win."
In other games Tuesday:
SOUTH SEVIER 8, GUNNISON 4:Daniel Bishoff went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Jamison Christensen added a home run as South Sevier plated four runs in the fifth to defeat Gunnison.
NORTH SEVIER 12, MANTI 2:Ron Weber hit a three-run triple in the bottom of the fifth inning, igniting a seven-run explosion as the Wolves crushed the Templars.
PAROWAN 12, MILLARD 5:Trevor Smith struck out 10 batters in six innings, and also went 3-for-5 with five RBIs, to lead Parowan.
JUAN DIEGO 11, ALTAMONT 0:Jake Celby pitched a complete-game two-hitter, striking out five, to help lead Juan Diego over Altamont.
NORTH SUMMIT 13, SOUTH SUMMIT 0: The Braves' Cecil Seright struck out 11 batters, while adding a double and a two-run homer at the plate in the blowout victory.
PAYSON 9, GRANITE 3:Brad Smith pitched a five-hitter, striking out seven, and Tyler Newbold had a two-run home run in the sixth as the Lions downed the Farmers.
OREM 10, JUDGE MEMORIAL 0:Devin Wilkins, Michael Echohawk and Trent Barney launched home runs and Cameron Pearson pitched four scoreless innings to lead the Tigers over the Bulldogs.
JORDAN 7, GRANGER 4: After allowing three runs to Granger in the top of the second, Jordan picked up five runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning and held on for the win.
GRAND 12, SAN JUAN 6: Grand scored six runs in the third inning, staking claim to an early 10-0 lead, to defeat San Juan in convincing fashion and remain unbeaten. Trace Wells and Jake Wittmier both went 4-for-4 with two RBIs.
SKY VIEW 8, BEAR RIVER 6: The Bobcats dealt the Bears their first loss of the season thanks to a six-run fifth inning.
EAST 17, WASATCH 11:Crosby Oldham went 3-for-5 and also picked up the victory on the mound to lead the Leopards past the Wasps.
COPPER HILLS 4, LAYTON 0:Josh Horrocks pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout as Copper Hills improved to 3-0 on the season.
SPANISH FORK 13, CARBON 1: The Dons plated seven runs in the first inning en route to a 13-1 victory over the Dinos.
AMERICAN FORK 3, NORTHRIDGE 2:Sam Brooks pitched a complete-game six-hitter, giving up two runs, both unearned, while striking out seven to lead the Cavemen.
CLEARFIELD 8, WOODS CROSS 0:Chad Barber struck out 11 on the mound, and hit a home run at the plate as the Falcons dominated the Wildcats.
WEST JORDAN 9, HUNTER 3: The Jaguars scored seven runs in the sixth inning to pull out the nonregion victory. Andrew Romero doubled and tripled for West Jordan.
UNION 11, NORTH SANPETE 1:Rhett Fieldsted gave up just one run on two hits while striking out 10, while Tyson Todd had four RBIs and a home run as Union controlled North Sanpete.
BINGHAM 6, COTTONWOOD 2: The Miners improved to 2-0 with a victory over the Colts.
FREMONT 10, ROY 5:Jared Sims drove in three runs, while Zack Kranendonk added two hits and three RBIs, as Fremont improved to 2-1 on the season.
TIMPVIEW 11, MOUNTAIN VIEW 10: After giving up three runs in the top of the seventh, the T-Birds scored two in their final at bat to sneak away with the victory.