High school baseball: Spanish Fork tops Maple Mountain in Game 1 of 5A championship
The Dons defeated the Golden Eagles 4-2 Friday night. The Dons ground out a single run in four different innings, while the Golden Eagles got two runs across in the bottom of the third
Spanish Fork defeated Maple Mountain 4-2 in Game 1 of the 5A championship series on Friday night. The Dons ground out a single run in four different innings while the Golden Eagles got two runs across in the bottom of the third.
Deciding a state champion can often come down to the littlest things — one out, one strike, one run at the right time can swing the series. In each of the first three innings Spanish Fork was able to grab a hit with two outs and a runner in scoring position. Zac Dart hit a single in the first inning and Hunter Rasmussen followed it up by hitting a fly ball on two strikes to bring in another. Dart then brought in another run with a double in the third frame.
“We have the offensive philosophy to get quality at bats, get guys on base and try to get at least one run every inning. Our guys were sticking with what we do and our process.” — Spanish Fork coach Casey Nelson
“We have the offensive philosophy to get quality at bats, get guys on base and try to get at least one run every inning. Our guys were sticking with what we do and our process,” said Spanish Fork coach Casey Nelson.
Maple Mountain stayed patient and were able to force pitcher Westin Corless into some tough counts. The first two batters were hit by the pitcher before the next two were each able to draw a walk. Cole Rollins grounded out but advanced all the runners and all of a sudden, the Golden Eagles were down just one run with two runners in scoring position with just one out on the board. But Corless was rock solid all night, getting out of a jam by striking out the next two batters in just six pitches. He wouldn’t allow another run for the rest of the night, finishing with seven strikeouts and just two hits allowed as he picked up his eighth win of the season.
“That is just a heck of a job making adjustments, we had a mound visit and he refocused on what we had worked on and great job for him on making those adjustments,” said Nelson on Corless’s clutch play.
Spanish Fork picked up an insurance run in the seventh inning, but left another two runners in scoring position, which kept the door open for Maple Mountain to walk-off for the second day in a row. Mason Green forced a walk to open the final frame, but nothing connected after that as the Mighty Dons closed the game three batters later.
The new tournament format includes a best-of-three series to determine the champion. Spanish Fork will have a chance to bring home the title during Game 2, which will be played on Saturday afternoon, with Game 3 to follow immediately after if necessary. The initial runthrough has seen teams up 1-0 go 80-4 in closing the series the following day. However, one of those four comebacks was Spanish Fork last weekend after they lost their opener to Murray.
When asked what his team could learn from their own comeback to prepare for the other side, Nelson said, “I love the two out of three series. As far as us tomorrow, we are getting ready for a day of baseball tomorrow. We are going to come out and have some fun and play how we have been playing. We have a bunch of confidence in our guys.”