TAYLORSVILLE — The baseball scouts may have come out to see Riverton's Tanner Draper pitch Wednesday, but they no doubt walked away impressed by two Silverwolves pitchers.
Jared Barton and Draper, an Oregon State commit, combined to strike out 11 hitters and never let Taylorsville string anything together offensively as the visiting ‘Wolves rolled to the 11-2 victory.
Barton got the win after striking out six in the first three innings, while Draper struck out five in the final four innings.
“It felt good. We work as a team. That’s our biggest thing, working as a team, and it’s fun to be out there with guys,” said Barton.
The win helped No. 2 Riverton improve to 4-0, while Taylorsville fell to 3-1.
As good as Riverton’s pitchers were all afternoon, Taylorsville starter Zac Stepp never seemed to find his groove. He walked five, hit another batter and threw four wild pitches, lasting just 2 1/3 innings.
Joe Barlow’s two-run double in the third was the final dagger as it extended Riverton’s lead to 6-1. His double was the only hit of the four-run third.
Barlow finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs and was one of four Riverton batters who had a multi-hit game.
Riverton coach Jay Applegate was very encouraged by the offensive outburst. A year ago the ‘Wolves lost six one-run games, but with Draper anchoring a very strong pitching staff this season, they’ll win a lot of games if they get run support like they did Wednesday.
Jared White had arguably the biggest of Riverton’s six extra-base hits.
With Taylorsville leading 1-0 after the first inning, White led off the second by blasting a fastball over the left-field fence to tie the game at 1-1.
“Jared did it last week against Viewmont, same thing. We were down 1-0, and we tried to get them to focus on getting the lead-off guy on, and Jared has some real good bat speed and he caught one on the barrel and it went out,” said Applegate.
Cam Gust followed with a double and scored two batters later on a wild pitch as Riverton built a 2-1 lead after the second. It proceeded to stretch the lead to 6-1 after the third, 8-2 after the fourth and 11-2 after the fifth.
Gust finished the game going 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Barton went 2 for 3 with two runs scored. And Trevor Peterson went 2 for 4 with a triple and two runs scored.
“Today we got one through nine putting the barrel on the ball a lot better today,” said Applegate.
Despite nearly 10-running Taylorsville, Applegate downplayed the win, knowing there’s plenty of baseball still ahead.
“As we tell the team, honestly we’re preseason. We’re trying to find out who we are. In high school baseball, you gotta have a short memory if you’re Taylorsville and us 'cause the next day anything can happen, honestly. That’s what we try to preach that you’ve got to be ready to play every day,” said Applegate.