Bracket play of the 5A state baseball tournament got underway on Monday at BYU.

High school baseball: 6A/5A/4A/3A/2A state tournament scores and schedules

Timpanogos 13, Orem 4

Crosstown rivals Orem and Timpanogos had met three times already this season before they met in 5A tournament bracket play Monday.

Though the second-seeded Timberwolves cruised in the first meeting between the teams, the following two games were closer contests, with the Tigers coming away with a win in the third game. 

What was the common denominator in the two closer contests? Slow starts from Timpanogos. 

Coming into their fourth matchup with Orem this season, the Timberwolves made certain that wouldn’t be the case, as they took an early lead and held onto it, securing a 13-4 win over the seventh-seeded Tigers. 

When Timpanogos head coach Kim Nelson saw his team get a hit on their first at-bat, he felt a good deal of relief. 

“It was very pleasing,” Nelson said of the start. “We got a base hit up the middle on our first hitter. We were having such a hard time getting things going on Friday. I think (that start) broke the ice and it kind of gave us a different approach in the batter’s box.”

After getting that opening hit — which eventually led to an early run for Timpanogos — the Timberwolves found themselves with loaded bases, one out and senior Tanner Morgan heading to the plate. Morgan sent a deep shot to centerfield for a 3-run RBI double to make it 4-0 in the bottom of the first inning. 

The quick start continued in the second inning as Timpanogos scored three more runs. Suddenly, the Tigers found themselves in an early hole that they wouldn’t be able to recover from, much like the first time the two teams met this year

Orem delivered a strong third inning — allowing zero runs while scoring three — to get themselves back in the game, but the Timberwolves scored four unanswered runs over the next two innings to slam the door shut. 

Bird had a strong game on the mound and in the batter’s box for Timpanogos, throwing a strike on 68% of his pitches, while also recording three RBIs as a hitter. 

“He’s been solid all year,” Nelson said of Bird. “I think he had a four-game stretch without giving up an earned run. He’s been great for us all year.”

All told, six different players recorded an RBI for the Timberwolves. 

Though the game was largely smooth sailing for the Timberwolves, they did suffer a scare at the conclusion of the game.

When Timpanogos’ Chase Riggs came on in relief of fellow pitcher Billy Bird at the top of the sixth, it was thought that the Timberwolves found themselves in the midst of an unintentional rule violation. 

The Timpanogos coaching staff had Riggs’ pitch count from the previous game on Friday at 85, meaning Riggs would only need two days of rest and would be eligible to pitch on Monday. 

However, stats recorded and uploaded from the previous game had Riggs’ pitch count at 86, meaning that he would need three days of rest and would be ineligible to pitch on Monday against the Tigers. 

Riggs checking-in during the sixth inning would result in a rule violation and a forfeiture if he did indeed throw 86 pitches on Friday. 

Review of the Friday’s game film found that the coaching staff had the correct tally and that Riggs did, in fact, only throw 85 pitches, meaning there was no rule violation by Timpanogos. 

As a result of the review, the Timberwolves maintained their position on the winning side of the 5A bracket and preserved some margin for error in their playoff run.

Salem Hills 4, Jordan 2

Not even an extended rain delay could spoil what was a winning night for the Skyhawks. 

By a score of 4-2, third-seeded Salem Hills remained on the winning side of the 5A bracket, keeping its shot at a potential title run alive. 

It was all about defense and capitalizing on opportunities for the Skyhawks, who scored four runs off of two RBIs. 

It was a strong start for Salem Hills, which got three quick outs on Jordan’s first three at-bats. The Skyhawks followed up the strong defensive start with a strong offensive start, getting hits from Kam Coburn and Nolan Miller to start the half-inning.

Coburn would score off a Jordan error and Kason Averett would bat-in a run, getting Salem Hills on the board quickly and early. 

Later on, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Talon Cloward managed to steal home to give the Skyhawks a 4-0 lead just before the rain delay, which came after the fifth inning concluded.

It appeared as though the delay benefitted the Beetdiggers, who scored their first two runs of the game during the four at-bats that came after play resumed. Salem Hills pitcher Nolan Miller picked up a big strikeout on a full count, ending a half-inning that saw Jordan reclaim some momentum. 

Scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, the Skyhawks needed to hold Jordan to a run or less in the seventh in order to take home the win. After an out and a couple of singles from Jordan, Salem Hills picked up a clutch 5-4-3 double play, ending the game and securing the win. 

It was a strong pitching outing for Miller, who finished with eight strikeouts and no earned runs for the Skyhawks. Averett finished as the top hitter for Salem Hills, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. 

Salem Hills will take on second-seeded Timpanogos Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. MDT for a chance to play in the 5A semifinals. 

Lehi 13, Viewmont 3

Defending state champion Lehi continued its title defense with a statement win at BYU on Monday afternoon.

The bats exploded for No. 4 seed Lehi with seven runs in the fifth inning and then two more in the sixth to finish off No. 5 seed Viewmont in six innings for the 13-3 win in the first game of 5A bracket play.

Eight of nine Lehi starters chipped in with a hit for Lehi, which pounded out 16 hits against four different Viewmont pitchers.

Leading the way at the plate for Lehi was first baseman Jackson Brousseau, who went 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs, Braden Willes and McGwire Madsen also drove in three runs in the win.

Dawson Rodak earned the win for the Pioneers as he pitched 523 innings with four strikeouts while only allowing four hits.

Lehi stays in the winners bracket and will face Woods Cross on Tuesday, while Viewmont drops into the one-loss bracket and will face Brighton.

Woods Cross 1, Brighton 0

Woods Cross continued its unlikely march through the 5A state tournament on Monday afternoon at BYU.

Pitcher Harley Vicchrilli struck out seven and didn’t allow a run through seven innings as the 17th-seeded Wildcats beat No. 8 Brighton during the first game of bracket play as the tournament shifted to a double-elimination format.

In the regional round, No. 17 Woods Cross beat No. 16 Box Elder 2-1 in the best-of-3 series, and then last weekend in the super regional series it stunned top seed in Olympus with the 2-1 series win after dropping Game 1.

Woods Cross scored 11 and 10 runs, respectively, in its two wins over Olympus, but on Monday one run was all Vicchrilli needed.

That lone run of the in the top of the seventh inning and scored on a wild pitch. It was a tough break for Brighton starter Case Beames, who was outstanding for all seven innings in striking out seven and only allowing three hits.