American Fork is right back where it ended last season: In the 6A state championship series.
Pleasant Grove made a good run but it ended on Wednesday.
The defending state champion Cavemen battered a hot Farmington team 12-2 in the nightcap and moved on to the final, where they will play a best-of-three series against No. 3 Riverton.
“We’ve been there before,” American Fork coach Jarod Ingersoll said. “You always want to have some kind of experience. It’s a credit to these kids and their drive. We set the goal to be there in the final. We’re playing a great opponent in Riverton. We expected to be here and we are because of the work ethic of these guys.”
no. 3 Riverton 3, No. 7 Pleasant Grove 1
Pleasant Grove head coach Darin Henry and the rest of his baseball team got on the train, as in Gage Trane, who went the distance to deliver a 3-2 Viking win over Bingham in the one-loss bracket of the 6A state baseball tournament Wednesday morning.
“Gage Trane put us on his back and said ‘We’re not going home,’” Henry said. “That’s what he said pretty much to us.”
Pleasant Grove faced another elimination game later in the day against No. 3 Riverton. Despite a strong pitching performance by sophomore Tua Wolgramm, the Vikings couldn’t generate enough offense and lost 3-1 to end their 2022 tournament run.
Remington Robbins scattered four hits and finished with a complete game for Riverton.
The Vikings took an early 1-0 lead but in the fifth Riverton scored twice to take a 2-0 advantage. The Silverwolves scored one more in the bottom of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead into top of the seventh.
Pleasant Grove got the tying run to the plate with two outs and a runner at third. Hayden Zamboni fouled off a half-dozen pitches to stay alive but eventually lifted a fly ball to shallow left that the Riverton shortstop caught to end the game.
The Silverwolves (21-7) advance to the best-of-three championship series on Friday against the winner of American Fork and Farmington.
Pleasant Grove ends the season with a 20-11 record.
no. 7 Pleasant Grove 3, No. 2 Bingham 2
One of the big issues in against Bingham was whether Trane would be able to finish the game. By rule high school pitchers have a designated pitch count of 110 for a single game. When Trane induced a lazy fly ball to right field by Bingham’s Jon Hatch for the final out, that was his 110th pitch of the game.
Henry knew exactly the situation. Technically a pitcher can finish the at-bat and go over 110 pitches, but if Trane didn’t get Hatch out, he would be done on the mound.
“We were checking the pitch count every single pitch (in that inning)” said Henry, who definitely wanted Trane to finish the game.
Trane also knew that if he didn’t get Hatch out, he was going to be pulled.
“I knew (about the pitch count situation), but I just went out there to get my team ground outs and pop flies, that’s it,” Trane said.
Trane, a senior, has a distinct side arm style that he developed as a sophomore and it kept the high octane Bingham offense in check. Trane allowed just five hits, struck out four and walked just one Miner hitter.
Still, the game had plenty of drama as the 3-2 score indicated.
Pleasant Grove scored in the first inning when Ryker Schow’s one-out single scored Tua Wolfgramm, who had doubled to start the game. But after that it was a bunch of zeros on the scoreboard until the sixth inning.
In the top of the sixth inning Pleasant Grove pushed ahead 2-0 thanks to a home run by Sam Haynie.
Bingham countered with a run of its own when Boston Jacobsen drove into Gage Sundloff. But Trane got Maddax Peck to hit a fly ball to right field to end the threat.
Pleasant Grove tacked on what proved to be a critical insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Ty Caldwell doubled then was driven in by Hayden Zamboni to put the Vikings ahead 3-1. This was a crucial run as the Miners were able to only score one run in the bottom of the seventh.
no. 6 American Fork 12, No. 9 Farmington 2
Dax Newman allowed just four hits and the Cavemen scored six runs in two innings — the third and the fifth — to rout the Phoenix, which had knocked out No. 1 seed Fremont by beating the Silverwolves twice during the tournament.
In the fifth, Newman ended things with a 2-RBI single by the ten-run rule.
Fisher Ingersoll was 2 for 3 and drove in four runs for American Fork (23-6) and Josh Rojas drove in a pair of runs.
Riverton topped the Cavemen 5-1 in a preseason game on April 1.