Tuesday’s 6A bracket play was played at UVU’s UCCU Ballpark in Orem.

American Fork 9, Syracuse 3

American Fork scored five runs in the first inning and took advantage of a couple of Syracuse errors, eventually holding on to 9-3 victory over the Titans in their Region 6A tournament matchup on Tuesday.

“I thought we came out and kind of established some momentum a little bit early. We’re super happy to get a little bit of early offense and kind of let our defense relax a little. We came out and were just ready to compete and ready to go,” said American Fork head coach Jarod Ingersoll.

Cavemen leadoff hitter CJ Mascaro got things going for American Fork with a leadoff home run, giving his team a quick 1-0 lead. Syracuse starting pitcher Jake Hopkins was unable to make it out of the first inning and after giving up five runs and walking five batters in the inning, he was replaced by Caleb Wilson.

“Our guys were aggressive. They executed a lot of great plays and had a lot of quality at bats. They really trusted in each other, and that first inning was huge for us obviously,” Ingersoll said.

After failing to get a runner on a base the first two innings of the ballgame, Syracuse was able to eventually get to American Fork pitcher Dax Watts by getting two runs across the plate in the top of the third.

Watts pitched 6 2/3 strong innings with 7 strikeouts while allowing just 4 hits for American Fork. He left in the seventh inning to a standing ovation from both the fans and his teammates.

“Watson is a stud. He got up there, competed and kept them off balance. Syracuse is a really good team and I thought he came out and competed with his best. I thought he did a great job and I’m super proud of him,” Ingersoll said.

Trailing 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning, Syracuse was able to cut into the lead by adding another run, making it a two-run game. American Fork quickly responded by getting three important insurance runs in the bottom of the inning.

The Cavemen were led offensively by Mascero, who got on base three times and scored twice.

Skyridge 6, Mountain Ridge 5

Skyridge stayed in the winners bracket of the 6A state playoffs, and the Falcons did in dramatic fashion thanks to a Dalton Young walk-off single, narrowly escaping and defeating No. 5 seed Mountain Ridge 6-5. 

In what felt like a low-scoring affair for most of the evening, both teams entered the seventh and final inning tied at 2. The top of the seventh started with a leadoff walk by Mountain Ridge’s Austin Goodrich. Stockton Fowlks would get him across the plate with an RBI triple. The Sentinels then went on to add two more runs that saw them take the lead 5-2 going into the bottom half of the inning.

After falling behind by three runs and being down to their last at-bats, the top seeded Falcons were on the brink of dropping their first state tournament game. However, they were able to score three quick runs to tie the game, setting the stage for Young. With the crowd going crazy, Young knew he just had one thing he needed to worry about. 

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“The first pitch I didn’t really know what I was doing. I knew that I needed to step out of the batters box and take a deep breath. I knew that I had one job to do for my team and that was to get a ground ball through to the outfield,” Young said.

With Chase Youngberd on third, Young did just that, lining a base hit into right field, keeping his team’s hopes for a state title going strong in the most dramatic of endings.

The starting pitcher for Mountain Ridge, Tahj Henrie had a stellar game for the Sentinels, pitching 6 strong innings and striking out 9 in the process. 

“We knew their pitcher was at a pitch count. Our goal was to get them out and see if we could get them in the bullpen. We let him off the hook on some pitch count stuff earlier in the game but I have to tip my cap to him. We eventually were able to face someone new and the guys just came through and got some big hits for us in the clutch,” said Skyridge head coach Ryan Roberts.

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