KEARNS — Gimmicks, trickery and deception are the only adjectives that can possibly describe the final heart-pounding inning during the 4A boys' winners-bracket semifinal.
Murray had finally overcome an early two run deficit after chipping away methodically throughout seven innings. Cam Howe had nailed an RBI single and a passed-ball ballooned the Spartans lead to 4-2 one half-inning before.
But Sky View was going down swinging. After two base hits to open the bottom of the seventh, Murray called for a meeting at the mound. The ensuing play shocked and awed the crowd at Kearns High Tuesday.
Howe, who had pitched all seven innings, motioned for a pickoff attempt at second. The runner was fooled into thinking the throw sailed high and began sprinting towards third. However, Howe had kept possession of the ball for the easy out at third. Following the momentum changing out, he quickly retired the following two batters to seal the 4-2 victory.
The Spartans (18-7) will face Skyline in the final game of the winners-bracket for a spot in the 4A championship game at Kearns on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Sky View (18-9), still with life in the veins, will meet Timpanogos Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the one-loss bracket.