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High school baseball: Riverton’s impressive pitching, American Fork’s potent offense lead schools into 6A state title series

SHARE High school baseball: Riverton’s impressive pitching, American Fork’s potent offense lead schools into 6A state title series

American Fork and Riverton High School logos. The Cavemen and Silverwolves will meet in the 6A baseball state championship series.

Deseret News

No. 2 Riverton and No. 7 Pleasant Grove met at Larry H. Miller Field Wednesday afternoon in the first game of two with a 6A baseball state championship series berth at stake.

The Silverwolves defeated the Vikings 3-1, advancing to the title series where they will face No. 5 American Fork.

The Cavemen bested No. 9 Farmington for the second day in a row, winning the nightcap 12-2 and earning a shot to repeat as state champions beginning Friday. 

The Silverwolves were again led by a strong defensive effort, their starting pitcher Remington Robbins going the distance. The left-handed junior finished the night with five strikeouts and one earned run on just four hits. 

“My mentality was to at least hold them to two runs,” Robbins said. “I knew our hitting was going to put up a lot of runs for us and we put up a good amount of runs for me to slow them down.”

The Vikings scored their lone run in the fourth inning. A two hit, two run fifth got the Silverwolves on the board and a 2-1 lead. Riverton had just two hits through the first four innings, scoring no runs in that time despite loading the bases in the first. 

The Silverwolves added another run in the sixth, before Robbins pitched around a two out triple in the seventh and held Pleasant Grove to another scoreless inning.

Riverton head coach Jay Applegate could not have been more proud of his team for making it to this year’s state championship.

“A lot of people don’t know a lot of the adversity and injuries that we’ve had,” Applegate said. “Two of our technically top three pitchers haven’t even pitched in region. We’ve had some serious injuries. We’ve had some obstacles.

“To see these guys overcome all this, it’s just what coaches dream of. It is honestly the closest team we’ve ever had. The character of this team is unprecedented.”

A state title in baseball would give the Silverwolves an unprecedented finish, the school having never won a state championship in the sport. 

Following Wednesday’s victory, Riverton leaves BYU having given up just three runs in three games.

“From the beginning of the season we had an insane pitching staff,” Robbins said. “… It’s just next man up and we just compete.” 

If Riverton’s remarkable pitching continues, the Silverwolves might be able to rewrite the school’s record book this weekend against American Fork.

In the day’s second game, American Fork’s offense was the story. The Cavemen scored all their runs in just two innings. The defending champs loaded the bases in the second, scoring six runs to go along with four hits. 

The Phoenix responded in the top of the third, loading up the bases as well and scoring both of their runs. Farmington was shut out the rest of the way, its two runs being far from enough to keep the game competitive. 

American Fork loaded the bases up again in the fifth, scoring six more runs to pull away by 10 and force an early ending. 

The win gives the Cavemen a 12th straight state tournament victory going back to last year’s state title run and puts their high powered offense on a collision course with a Riverton squad whose pitching has been stellar. The two schools met earlier this season, playing to a 5-1 Silverwolves victory. 

Riverton and American Fork will begin their best of three championship series at UVU Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 7 pm. Game 2 will be played the next day at 1:30 pm with a third game, if necessary, being played that evening.