Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
RIVERTON — Getting off to a fast start can obviously be huge for any team in any region.
For Riverton in highly competitive Region 4, it could be priceless.
The Silverwolves dispatched region foe Pleasant Grove 11-3 Wednesday, giving them two straight wins over the Vikings and an early 2-0 region record. Riverton used an early-inning offensive onslaught to secure a big lead before cruising to victory.
“Our bats were good today and we were obviously seeing the ball well out there,” said Riverton coach Jay Applegate. “Getting off to quick starts is something we’ve emphasized, so it’s nice when they respond to that. Wins are at a premium in region play, so it’s great to get off to the start we have.”
Starting pitcher Jimi Dixon made quick work of Pleasant Grove in the top of the first inning to set up a three-run bottom of the frame for the Silverwolves. Joe Barlow provided a key two-run double in the inning to give his team a quick lead and momentum.
The Vikings looked to snatch back that momentum the very next inning after loading the bases with no outs. Dixon buckled down, however, and yielded just one run on a sacrifice fly to end the inning while securing a 3-1 lead for his team.
“Our pitching is a big strength for us and I think we did a good job today keeping a good Pleasant Grove lineup in check, for the most part,” Applegate said.
The bottom of the second proved to be a big half for the Silverwolves, who scored five runs on five hits to extend their lead to 8-1. Jared White started the scoring with a two-run double, which was followed up with RBI singles from Cam Gust, Jdee Fuller and Sam Christensen.
White provided a two-RBI encore the very next inning, sending a pitch over the fences for a home run to give his team a 10-1 lead.
“Jared obviously had a good game for us today,” Applegate said. “He was aggressive and he has some good power from the plate that you saw today.”
Pleasant Grove’s Brandon Coombs provided a two-run single in the top of the fourth to cut Riverton's lead to 10-3, but the Vikes didn't score again as Riverton cruised to a convincing 11-3 win.
“Like I said, wins are at a premium in this region and there’s no easy teams for the rest of the year,” Applegate said. “If you believe what you read this region may be the toughest in the state, but I think we’re ready to compete. I like our team and I like how we’ve started out. But it’s a long season and we just need to make sure we improve where we can and keep doing the things we’re doing well.”
The same two teams will match up Friday at Pleasant Grove to finish off the three-game set.
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