SPRINGVILLE — Taking nothing away from the pitching performance Wednesday of Springville starter Brian Bulow, but there's a few dirt clods around second base that might deserve credit for the Red Devils moving on in the winners bracket of the Class 4A baseball playoffs.

Springville scored a run in the sixth on a bad-hop single to tie it and another in the seventh on a grounder that took a Red Devils bounce to defeat Bonneville 3-2.

"We finally got the bounces going our way this time, and it got us the two runs we needed," said Springville catcher Alex Johnson, who delivered the game-winning hit for the second straight playoff game.

Despite occasional control problems, Bulow was stellar on the hill. The junior righty hit a batter and walked four, but he allowed only four hits and struck out eight. Five of those Ks were inning-enders with Lakers runners on base.

"He's a smart pitcher and he did a great job of getting out of some jams," Springville coach Willy Child said.

However, had it not been for a bit of late fortune, Bulow could easily have been the loser. The Red Devils were trailing 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth when Trevyn Smith reached on a booted grounder to third. Trevor Graves followed with a seeing-eye grounder up the middle. Still, Bonneville starter Tanner Jugler, who had stranded seven Springville runners in the first five innings, appeared to be out of another jam when Scott Pickering hit another grounder to the right side of second base.

But just as second baseman Joey Dysert was preparing to scoop up the ball, it took a high bounce and glanced off his cheek and into shallow right field — allowing Smith to score the tying run.

"At first I thought it was up the middle but then I thought he was going to get it," Pickering said.

After Bulow struck out Dysert to end the top of the seventh with the go-ahead run on second, Springville came to bat in the bottom half with a chance to win. Mark Pawelek led off with an infield hit that Dysert made a diving stop on but couldn't get up in time to throw Pawelek out. Matt McCoy followed with a high hopper to third that was again booted, putting runners on first and second. Juggler struck out the next batter, bringing Johnson to the plate.

Jugler got ahead of Johnson 1-2, but couldn't get the strike-out pitch past him. Johnson reached out and slapped a fast ball past Jugler and left of second. It looked like a diving Brett Stephens might be able to knock the ball down, but it bounced barely over his glove and into center field. Pinch runner Bridger Frampton beat the throw home for the game-winning run.

"He struck me out the first two times on outside fastballs, so I went with it a little bit more this time and it just happened to go through," Johnson said.

Springville's first run came in the first when Pawelek singled home Pickering on another hit up the middle. Bonneville took the lead in the fifth when Alex Hall ripped a two-out double to right-center field, scoring Aric Hutchison and Stephens — only the third and fourth earned runs that Bulow has allowed in 45 innings this season. But Bulow retired seven of the next eight hitters he faced.

"When guys are on he gets tougher and hits his spots," Child said.

Springville advances to face Lone Peak at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Miller Park at BYU. The Knights were 15-1 winners Wednesday over Murray.


E-mail: jimr@desnews.com