The 6A baseball state tournament bracket play got underway at BYU Monday, with four games taking place starting in the afternoon and running through the late evening. No. 2 Bingham, No. 3 Riverton, No. 5 American Fork, and No. 9 Farmington each won, advancing to their bracket’s semifinal.
Bingham faced off against No. 7 Pleasant Grove in the third game of the day, scoring six runs in the fifth to defeat the Vikings 8-2.
The game went scoreless through four, with Miners starting pitcher Maddax Peck holding Pleasant Grove hitless through three. The junior pitcher felt that having his older brother, senior catcher Maxton Peck, behind the plate gave him added confidence.
“It’s good to have Maxton behind the plate to help me out when I struggle,” he said. “Him coming up to me and talking to me, it’s really nice and its just nice to know you have a good defense behind you. It makes it a lot easier to pitch.”
The bottom of the order got Bingham’s offense going in the fifth. Senior outfielder Luke Leatherwood led off the inning, reaching base on a dropped third strike. Leatherwood ultimately scored the first run of the game after stealing second base, reaching third on a balk, and stealing home on another uncaught third strike that saw Maddax Peck reach first. Maxton Peck and senior infielder Jonny Hatch had the only hits of the inning, bringing three runners home.
When asked what changed in the fifth after going scoreless in the first four innings the elder Peck said, “Coach (Joe Sato) told us to just calm down and take a deep breath and just have some fun. Because we came out here to play baseball, and baseball is supposed to be fun. We came out there and put up a six spot and gave us control of the game.”
Pleasant Grove never recovered, scoring just one run in each of the final two innings.
The first game of the day was much more evenly matched, as No. 1 Fremont and fellow Region 1 opponent Farmington duked it out in a defensive battle. The Phoenix defeated the Silverwolves 2-1, handing the top seed its first setback since a season-opening loss to Skyridge. Farmington scored one run in the first and its second run in the seventh, before holding the Silverwolves to one score in the final inning leaving a runner stranded at third.
The next contest also featured familiar foes, pitting two Region 3 squads against each other in No. 4 Lone Peak versus the defending state champion American Fork. The Cavemen bested the Knights 12-2 for their third win over Lone Peak this season and a second straight double digit victory over their region rival. American Fork led the entire way, scoring 10 runs in the last four innings.
No. 3 Riverton and No. 6 Taylorsville matched up in the final game of the day, with the Silverwolves beating the Warriors 10-0. Riverton took control of the contest in the second with three of its four runs on the inning coming on a three run shot off the bat of senior shortstop Sam Beck. The Silverwolves’ win broke Taylorsville’s 21 game win streak, giving the Region 2 champ its first defeat since March.
Monday’s winners will meet tomorrow in their respective brackets. Riverton and Bingham begin play at 4:30 p.m. Farmington and American Fork will finish the night off with a 7 p.m. start time.