SANDY — After seven games, the American Fork baseball team is just where it wants to be — and not just because the Cavemen are undefeated.
The always underrated and overachieving Cavemen are at it again, exceeding expectations after being picked to be a middle-of-the-pack Region 4 team. They opened league play with an 8-6 victory over Jordan on Tuesday afternoon, improving to 7-0 overall.
With a record like that, American Fork won't be able to stay under the radar much longer.
"That's how we like it," said Cavemen pitcher Jeremy Reynolds. "I'm fine with laying low and winning ballgames."
American Fork has both down pat, and Reynolds played a key role in getting the Cavemen another victory on Tuesday. He threw the final three innings against the Beetdiggers, holding the high-powered lineup to one run. The game was tied 5-5 when he entered, and he did enough to earn his second win on the mound.
"He's a great pitcher," said American Fork coach Jared Ingersoll. "He keeps the ball low, he mixes it up real well. He's a guy we've come to rely on all summer and fall, and hopefully in the spring, too. He's just a gamer."
He's a gamer at the plate, too. Reynolds helped American Fork rally for three runs in the seventh, as he drove in the game-tying run in the top of the inning. The Cavemen then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Zack Robinson added an insurance run with an RBI single.
American Fork scored two runs in the first, but had to play catch-up for most of the game. Jordan went ahead 3-2 in the second when Colton Shaver smacked a two-run double and Brennon Anderson had an RBI double. The Beetdiggers went up 5-3, and seemingly had the game in control when Clay Kinahan had an RBI single in the sixth to make it 6-5.
The Cavemen just kept battling though. Tyler Flinders led off the seventh with a triple, and was quickly driven in by Reynolds.
"We made plays when we had to," Ingersoll said. "Jordan is a great team. You have to put something up every inning in order to be where you want to be in the end with those guys. Our guys did what we had to do, kept battling and were able to pull it out."
The Beetdiggers wasted too many opportunities, stranding 10 runners.Comment on this story
"The difference was with two strikes they flipped the ball in the outfield, and with two strikes we left guys standing on base," said Jordan coach Ron Anderson.
Robinson, American Fork's leadoff man, paced the team's offense with three hits. B.J. Eldredge made a clutch diving catch in left field in the seventh when the Beetdiggers started to rally.
"Good win," Reynolds said. "It's a good way to start off region."