TAYLORSVILLE — It was the signature win Taylorsville needed.
The Warriors, coming off a disappointing rebuilding season, are obviously much improved in 2011. But they still needed a quality victory in a game that mattered against a good team, especially after losing to Riverton in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.
Taylorsville took the second game from Riverton on Wednesday, 3-1, to even the series and earn its biggest win since the 2009 season.
"Glad to get that monkey off our back," said Warriors coach Jake Brown.
The Warriors can continue getting the monkey off their back if they win the series with the Silverwolves. The rubber match is Friday.
"If we win the series, it's a big accomplishment," said Taylorsville pitcher Dalton Carroll, who threw a gem on Wednesday. "They're ranked pretty high in the state, so we want to come out and show people we're just as good."
Carroll was at his best both on the mound and at the plate on Wednesday. He threw a three-hitter with six strikeouts. The one run he allowed came off of a dropped third strike and an error.
Carroll is a power pitcher, and his fastball was complemented nicely by an occasional curve against the Silverwolves.
"He competed all day for us," Brown said. "He's definitely a hard thrower compared to what you see every day. Against the better teams, you still got to locate and throw more than one pitch for a strike. He knows that, and works hard at that."
Carroll was also backed by solid defense. First baseman Marc Reynolds made a diving stop and unassisted out in the fifth inning. Third baseman Isaac Fullmer grabbed a hard grounder and made a tough unassisted out with two runners on base in the sixth.
Carroll helped himself at the plate with two RBIs. He drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth with a single. He added an insurance run in the sixth with a sacrifice fly.
"That's what he is," said Brown. "He's going to barrel some stuff up. He has great at-bats for us, drives in runs and gives us a chance. He did a good job for us."
While Carroll was outstanding, it took a team effort for the Warriors to beat Riverton. Mike Springer had three hits for Taylorsville, including a double. Adam Fullmer had an RBI single in the second to put the Warriors on the scoreboard.
"It's definitely a big win for us," Brown said. "A team that is as good as Riverton is — when they don't lose a lot, those teams are hard to beat whether you feel like you play better than them or not. They're not the type of team that's going to lay down. You have to beat them for seven innings. You beat them for six innings, you come out with a loss. That's the kind of team they are."
Taylorsville had chances to win more comfortably, but stranded nine runners. To the Warriors' credit, they didn't get frustrated by the missed opportunities and just kept playing.
"One thing our guys did was keep competing and keep putting pressure on them," Brown said. "I'm glad we didn't let the frustration of feeling like we're playing really well and not seeing any runs on the board transfer over to frustration on defense or frustration in later innings. You just got to compete."