KEARNS — Skyline knew the scoop. The Eagles needed one big inning with their glove-popping ace on the dirt and they'd be in fat city.

"We actually, I hate to admit this, watched some video of their pitcher online," said Skyline's manager Erik Hansen. "His grandfather put some on and we typed his name in and found some video that popped up. We knew he was going to have good stuff and was going to get better later in the game.

"We knew it was going to take one inning if we could jump on him. One inning was probably going to win this game. We came in confident in our game plan that we could beat him."

Skyline used six straight hits at the top of the order in the first inning for a four-run cushion. Then, behind the arm of Lars Lofgren, advanced to the final game of the 4A winners bracket with the 5-1 win over Mountain Crest at Kearns High on Tuesday.

"Everyone has doubted us this year," Hansen said. "I don't know if there's been one article about us all year and I kind of like it that way. … I'm very proud of the team effort today."

It marked the 10th straight win for Skyline dating back to April 26 and the 16th of the past 18 games. The Eagles will meet Murray at Kearns on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

The quarterfinal matchup between the two programs that won their respected regions with identical 13-2 records was headlined by the pitching prospects.

Skyline's Lofgren entered winning seven straight decisions with an overall record of 7-1. Whereas Mountain Crest's Zach Johnson took the mound with a 7-2 record. Both pitchers tied for third in 4A in total wins.

In the first inning, however, the Eagles found a quick rhythm at the plate.

Bridger Berrett sliced a double to the left field warning track on the opening at-bat. It was the first of two doubles for Berrett who finished 3-for-3 with a walk.

"He kind of gets us ignited when he gets going," Hansen said of Berrett. "It was nice for him to come out and get us started in that first inning — it was huge."

Bryce Barr immediately followed suit with an RBI double for the 1-0 lead.

It had only just begun.

Within a few pitches, Josh Stephens singled, Luke Myers poked an RBI single over third, Mike Staes slapped a 2-run RBI past short and Lofgren added another single.

Six straight hits gave Skyline (21-6) the 4-0 lead with one of the best pitchers in 4A to lean on.

"I thought that we needed a couple more (runs). I knew if we could get to three or four we'd probably be pretty good," Hansen said when asked how he felt at that point. "But (we) felt pretty comfortable with him on the mound; very confident in him. He's not scared of anything, he's gonna go right after it."

With the four-run bumper, Lofgren had the luxury of aggressively challenging home plate. "I could go out there and attack their hitters; I didn't have to be so fine," the senior right-hander said. "If they got a hit (it) was alright because we still had a four-run lead."

Lofgren, in a complete game outing, finished with four strikeouts — scattering two hits.

When Skyline's offensive flame dissipated, the two teams exchanged goose-eggs as the game traveled into the sixth inning.

Then, things got a little sticky.

With the bases loaded, Lofgren balked home a run, putting an abrupt end to the shutout.

"(The umpires) talked to him before and I'm not quite sure — I think he was in the windup and he was going to his glove, pulling his hand out and going back in," Hansen said. "It's something that hasn't been called all year. Obviously, they warned him. That's something that happens and you move on."

"Those calls can make or break a team," Hansen continued to explain. "Today they could have broken us, we've had those calls go against and we haven't overcome them. So, I'm proud that we were able to overcome (that) situation."

In a sudden change of demeanor, Lofgren was fuming. With the added emotion, he fired eight straight strikes that had radar guns shaking and ended the inning on a grounder with runners at second and third.

"I got a little frustrated with that balk call, but I bounced back. I used that to motivate me that inning and come back to strike those two guys out," said Lofgren. "I really just had to focus pitch by pitch."

Email: tphibbs@desnews.com