SOUTH JORDAN — After a rough first-round win over Weber on Tuesday, the Riverton Silverwolves turned things around on Wednesday and showed why they're still the team to beat in the 5A State tournament, dominating the Layton Lancers from the start to take a commanding 9-0 win.
The Silverwolves committed zero errors in the game and only allowed two hits.
"Yesterday we could feel a little anxiety, but today we really calmed down," Riverton head coach Jay Applegate said. "We stress defense and pitching and those two things really took care of themselves today."
Sophomore Tanner Banks was outstanding on the mound for the Silverwolves, striking out the first three Lancers he faced en route to an eight strikeouts, two-hit performance through five innings. Scott Shipley and Connor Woodward pitched the final two innings to complete the shutout for Riverton.
"I just try to work ahead and hit my spots," Banks said. "The defense was really there to back me up the whole time and I think they did an excellent job."
"Tanner is phenomenal," Riverton catcher Davis Johnson said. "He hits his spots really well and he really came through."
Rex Blaylock got things started for Riverton offensively, singling in two runs in the bottom of the first and then coming around to score when he got to third on an error and Woodward smacked a sacrifice fly to bring him in.
In the bottom of the fourth, Johnson added two more runs to Riverton's total when he nailed a long homerun, his first of the season, and brought in Vance Howard.
"From the first at-bat, I knew he came with a lot of fastballs," Johnson said. "I just went up there thinking that."
Nathan Slaymaker kept the scoring going in the fourth by hitting a deep flyball over the centerfielder's head to bring around Brandon Gust and Scott Shipley scored a batter later off an Alex Newman sacrifice fly.
The Lancers got back-to-back two out singles in the top of the fifth to get into scoring position, but Banks struck out the next batter to put an end to the threat.
Riverton added two final runs in the bottom of the fifth when Gust smacked a two-run single to score Woodward and Howard.
Camren Applegate and Sam Benton got the lone two hits for the Lancers, while third baseman Jaron Gold made several excellent plays for Layton defensively. Eight different players got a hit for Riverton, with Blaylock leading all batters with two. Blaylock, Gust and Johnson also each had two RBIs.
With the win, Riverton advances to the third round of the 5A state playoffs to face Taylorsville next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at UVSC.