Prep baseball: Taylorsville turns back Bingham to stay alive in 5A tournament

Published: Thursday, May 24 2012 12:18 a.m. MDT

But the Warriors weren't done yet in that inning, as Dalton Carroll walked, stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Larenz Stansfield. Jackson Roper then singled, and Stansfield came around to score on a Bingham error. Adam Fullmer's fielder's choice then brought home Roper with the fifth run of the inning to make it 5-1.

"I just thought I could give my team some momentum," Dallas Carroll said, "but as you could see, that wasn't the only thing that led to our win. The other runs that our team batted in helped us get that one-run victory. That little bit of momentum helped our team win, but it wasn't the only thing."

Coach Brown was mighty proud of Heugly's performance on the mound, and at the plate, too, with his leadoff double that started the decisive rally.

"He's not our best hitter but he's a competitive kid," Brown said. "And if you keep giving him chances, he's gonna figure it out and eventually he's gonna come through. They'd been beating him with that curveball and I think he swung through one of them and the crowd kind of giggled because the ball bounced in front of home plate.

"And then two pitches later, he's doubling down the line and then three pitches later we're up 2-1. That's the kind of group we've got; we never blink when it comes time for the confidence-check. We always feel like we're going to come out on top.

"When the bottom of our lineup gets on, we've got some kids at the top that can bang," Brown said. "And Dallas did that today; he ran into one at the right time. And that's our two seniors, jumping out and taking the lead and putting this team on their backs, and they've done that all year."

But — Bingham being Bingham — the Miners refused to quit.

Jacob Druce led off the seventh with a walk and Nate Bloxham doubled. Riley Hansen's long fly ball brought home a run, and P.J. Goff singled. Lund followed with an RBI single to make it 5-3 and, after a fielder's choice resulted in the second out, Max Dimick smacked a run-scoring single to right to make it 5-4. But with Bingham's cleanup hitter, Connor Williams, at bat with two runners in scoring position, reliever Jake Greenberg struck out Williams on a 3-2 count for the game's final out.

Bingham, last year's 5A champion, staged a big last-at-bat rally with six runs in the seventh inning to beat Syracuse 9-4 earlier Wednesday. But the Region 4 champs finish their season at 23-6 with the disappointing defeat that night.

"We ask 'em to play hard and they compete, respect the game and we feel like we give ourselves a chance," said Bingham coach Joey Sato, fighting back tears. "We're proud of them.

"That's a special group of seniors and we'll miss them. They provided really good leadership and have been the backbone of our team, actually some of them even as juniors, their leadership and their work ethic. I really feel bad for them, really a special group for us, so we'll miss 'em a lot."

Heugly had a great time both on the mound and in his final time up to bat, and he knew Bingham would battle back before it was over.

"They always do that," he said. "I figured they'd make a push. It was a little nerve-wracking at first but we got it done.

"It was a fun game. I felt good until the last inning. I got tired and started throwing some balls, but it felt good, it felt real good today.

"That felt good, too," Heugley said of his rally-starting double. "That was fun, just to help myself out a little bit and get the team going."

Heugly was delighted to see Greenberg get that last out, especially against a great hitter like Williams — "Jake threw a good pitch, he made a really good pitch," Heugley said — and felt the Warriors would find a way to pull out a win in Wednesday's clash with the Miners.

"The whole tournament our team's had a lot of confidence," he said. "We felt like we were pretty good and we could beat anyone. We knew eventually we would break through and we were just waiting for it to happen."

Dallas Carroll was glad to see Greenberg nail down the Warriors' win so they could continue their season today.

"He's a good hitter," Carroll said of Williams. "We knew they were going to put up a fight that last inning, but we knew our pitcher would put up a fight, too.

"I'm just excited we got the win — last high school season and I'm not ready for it to end. No one expected us to make it this far, so we're turning doubters into believers now."

Email: rhollis@desnews.com

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