SPANISH FORK — Timpanogos guaranteed itself a place in the state tournament, and also gave itself a fighting chance to finish first in Region 4 with a 10-0 win over Spanish Fork on Monday.
Led by pitcher Rhett Nelson, the T-Wolves put together a complete game and dispatched the Dons in six innings. Timpanogos is one game out of first place in region with one game left and still has an outside chance at tying for the region championship. But either way, the pressure of qualifying for state is now gone, and the T-Wolves can go into Wednesday's game with Spanish Fork playing just for seeding.
"It takes a little bit of a monkey off our back," said Timpanogos coach Kim Nelson. "We can only control what we can do. Now we'll just try to go beat another good pitcher and finish as high as we can."
Rhett Nelson won't be on the mound again for the next game, but he did more than enough damage to the Dons on Monday. He scattered six hits and pitched out of lead-off doubles three different times. Along with six strikeouts, very few hits made it out of the infield.
Nelson also had the biggest hit of the day on a three-run homer in the third inning. All together the junior was 4-4 at the plate with four RBIs.
"Spanish Fork is a really good team so we had to come play today," Rhett Nelson said. "It feels good dominating anybody. But with a team like Spanish Fork, as good as they are, it feels good to beat them like that."
The T-Wolves also got plenty of help from the rest of the lineup. All nine hitters made it on base, and the team got at least two hits in every inning.
"Probably more than any other game this year, one through nine in the lineup were making good contributions at the plate," Kim Nelson said. "It was a total game for us. We pitched it, we fielded it, and we hit it."
Timpanogos opened up the game with two runs in the first. One came on a Brett Lopez double, and another on a single by Grant Jimenez.
Taylor Lyons' RBI single added another run in the second before Nelson blew the game open with his home run in the third.
In the fourth inning, Jimenez brought another run home on a sacrifice fly and Jordan Melhoff and Nelson each added an RBI to make the score 9-0.
Christian Stewart's single in the top of the sixth scored the last run of the day.