No. 7 American Fork won its first game in the month of May Thursday afternoon, beating No. 10 Corner Canyon 2-1 at home in the super regional round of the 6A tournament. 

The Cavemen picked a great time to end their slump, taking Game 1 in their best of three series with the Chargers and snapping a six game losing skid. 

“These last couple weeks have been a little bit of an area where we haven’t been too often,” American Fork head coach Jared Ingersoll said. “It’s kind of character time. Obviously Corner did a great job, but I thought our kids came out and were resilient today. … So I’m proud of them.”

Prior to Thursday, the Chargers had gone 3-0 against the Cavemen this season, all three wins coming earlier this month. Still, American Fork’s better RPI ranking landed the school the higher seed. 

What changed for the Cavemen in their fourth go-around against Corner Canyon?

“I just think our approach overall,” Ingersoll said. “We talked about being energetic and approaching the game with a winner’s mentality. And I thought we approached it differently.” 

Both teams played a much different game than their contests a couple weeks ago. The three previous meetings between the Region 4 rivals saw the two squads combine for 41 runs. However, the schools’ postseason matchup saw the pair of offenses struggle to get their bats going.

American Fork broke the scoreless tie in the third inning. The Cavemen used a stolen base, a deep flyout, and an RBI groundout to get freshman pinch runner River Litke around the bases and secure a 1-0 advantage. 

The Cavemen held on to that lead for the next couple of innings, American Fork starting pitcher Dax Watts giving up just one hit over the fourth and the fifth. 

“Watts did a heck of a job,” Ingersoll said. “Then we just put on enough runs.”

Corner Canyon finally scored on Watts in the sixth, getting a solo home run from senior left-handed batter Noah Simon hitting leadoff in the sixth. Throughout the game, the Chargers found ways to get on base but just couldn’t string together baserunners and hits, leaving seven runners stranded when all was said and done.

High school baseball: 6A/5A/4A/3A/2A state tournament scores and schedules
High school baseball: 6A/5A recap from Thursday’s Super Regional Game 1s

American Fork quickly responded to Simon’s homer, getting its second run in the bottom of the sixth. A leadoff walk by sophomore Caveman CJ Mascaro opened the door for American Fork and the school took advantage of it, bringing Mascaro home on a Watts fly ball that bounced off the glove of a Chargers outfielder. 

“We’ll try to … enjoy it for a little bit now,” Ingersoll said of the win. “Tomorrow (we’ll) come back and be ready to go after it.”

Both teams’ pitchers went the distance in the defensive battle, keeping their bullpens well rested heading into Game 2.

“We know that (Corner Canyon’s) got some good arms and it was huge for us to not go to the bullpen,” Ingersoll said. “It will hopefully pay off if we’re fresher in the bullpen.”

The two schools will resume their best of three series tomorrow afternoon at American Fork beginning at 1 p.m. If necessary, a third contest will follow.