American Fork baseball used an eight-run fifth inning Friday to knock off Skyridge for the third time this week and remain unbeaten on the year.
Following the 10-1 shellacking of the Falcons, American Fork saw its record improve to 18-0, while Skyridge fell to 9-10, below .500 for the first time since March.
American Fork junior pitcher Kaden Carpenter kept Skyridge off the board for 5 full innings, perplexing one Falcon batter after another. Minus Carpenter’s solo home run in the fourth inning, the Cavemen also struggled to get into an offensive rhythm — that is until the fifth inning, when longtime Cavemen head coach Jarod Ingersoll saw his teams’ bats explode midway through the contest.
“It took us a little bit to wake up,” he said. “A couple of our leaders came up with some big hits and everything else just started to fall in line.”
The Cavemen cycled through the lineup, with every player reaching base, and in effect won the game in the fifth. Fisher Ingersoll got the scoring under way for American Fork following sophomore Ryder Robinson’s double to center field. The lefty batter ripped a two-run homer over the right field fence to give his team a 3-0 edge.
American Fork was only getting started. Six runs and two Falcon pitchers later, the Cavemen had racked up a 9-0 lead.
Skyridge senior McKade Sampson finally got the better of Carpenter in the sixth inning, taking him over the left field fence for the Falcons’ only score of the game. Carpenter would retire the next two batters to end his night.
Teammate Easton Whittaker relieved the southpaw, performing mop-up duty in the final inning.
At game’s end, Carpenter’s head coach found him at the third base line to tell him how proud he was of his play.
“It took us a little bit to wake up. A couple of our leaders came up with some big hits and everything else just started to fall in line.” — American Fork head coach Jarod Ingersoll
“He is so solid,” Ingersoll said. “The presence that he has in the box, the presence that he has on the mound and even defensively, he’s an incredible ball player. He deserves a ton of recognition. Just a great great athlete for us.”
To remain unbeaten next week, The Cavemen will need Carpenter and crew to play well when facing off against fellow undefeated Pleasant Grove. The Vikings enter the matchup outscoring opponents by an average of nearly nine runs per game.
American Fork knows how potent Pleasant Grove’s offense can be.
“We’ve just got to play good defense,” Ingersoll said. “(Our) pitchers have got to step up. We’ve got to have timely hitting. If we come and play tough baseball it should be a fun series. We’re looking forward to it.”
The series between the rival schools is set to begin Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. with Pleasant Grove as the initial host. Skyridge will return home to face a Westlake team looking for its first win of Region 4 play that same day at 3:30 p.m.