After losing in a pitchers’ duel in Game 1 of the 6A state championship series on Friday night, Riverton returned to the UVU diamond on Saturday afternoon for Game 2 and won a slugfest.
The Silverwolves took advantage of command issues from American Fork’s pitching staff to pull away for the 18-8 victory and force a decision Game 3 in the best-of-3 series on Saturday evening at UVU.
Riverton scored eight runs in the second, one in the third, seven in the fourth and two more in the fifth to close it out with the 10-run mercy rule. Of Riverton’s 18 runs, 17 came with two out.
A big reason was the free bases. American Fork pitchers walked 10 batters in those innings and hit four more. Of those 14 free passes, four led differently to runs.
Riverton did a huge chunk of its damage in the second inning taking advantage of control issues from American Fork’s pitching staff. It brought 13 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs on five hits, four walks and a hit batter.
Three different Riverton batters got an RBI on a walk, while Kade Miller and Zach Edwards did the big damage at the plate with back-to-back two-run singles pushing the lead to 6-0 and then 8-0.
American Fork didn’t sulk and got right back into the game, scoring six runs in the top of the third inning on four hits. Dax Newman’s bases-clearing triple cut the deficit to 8-5, and then he scored on a squeeze bunt from Dax Watts on the next at bat whittling the deficit to 8-6.
The Cavemen continued to chip away, cutting the deficit to 9-8 as Easton Jones drove in a pair of runs in the top of the fourth.
Riverton had a massive answer in the bottom of the fourth, scoring seven runs to effectively put the game away.
Four runners got a free pass, while Kaden Miller provided the big hit with a bases-clearing double as the Silverwolves built a 16-8 lead through four.
In the fifth, Miller got the walk-off RBI as his hard-hit single toward shortstop brought home Sam Beck from third base. Miller had a massive day at the plate, going 5 for 5 with two doubles and seven RBIs.
Mac Brighton, Beck, Tyler Barton and Zach Edwards all drove in two runs.
American Fork use five pitchers who combined for 162 pitches and only two strikeouts.