TAYLORSVILLE — Not many predicted the mercy rule would go into effect when 5A powerhouses Bingham and Taylorsville collided Wednesday afternoon.
No one, save perhaps the red-hot Miners, who have now won 11 of their last 12 games.
Bingham did its work early and often to end the game early in a 14-3 five-inning rout over the Warriors in the second round of the 5A state tournament. The game featured a steady barrage from the Miners at the plate and a steady performance from BYU-bound pitcher Brennon Lund on the mound.
Overall, the Miners managed 18 hits to go with their improbable 14 runs over five innings — including five hits and seven runs, respectively, in the top of the first. RBI hits were provided by Jacob Druce, Lance Harrison, Chase Tavonatti, Ryan Llewelyn and Lund in the first frame off of Warrior ace Kyle Hoffman.
“Those things don’t happen very often,” said Bingham coach Joey Sato about his team’s first-inning onslaught. “(Hoffman) is a wonderful player and I love him to death — I’d take him (on our team) in a heartbeat. For us to get some swings off of him — knowing the competitor that he is — that was big for us.”
Taylorsville appeared poised to follow Bingham’s lead in the bottom half of the first following a two-run RBI double from Miguel Othon and a fielder’s choice that cut Bingham's lead to 7-3. From that point, however, Lund settled down, minimized the damage and got his team out of the inning.
“I got a little jittery with my first time throwing in a state game, I think,” Lund said. “I just had to calm down and be more tough.”
Lund may have been done in by a longer-than-usual top of the first, according to Sato.
“He got warmed up and then sat, so he got a little bit out of his routine,” Sato said. “He was a little bit out of sorts because he hadn’t pitched for so long, so he was a little bit off his game. He took a step back and got back to executing just one pitch at a time.”
Lund struck out the side in each of the next two innings and allowed just three hits over the next four innings and no runs.
Meanwhile, the Bingham bats continued to batter Taylorsville with nine hits and six runs over the next two innings. Tavonatti highlighted the second inning with a two-RBI double, while consecutive RBI singles from Harrison, Tavonatti and TJ Bowcutt highlighted the third.
Overall Tavonatti finished with five RBIs and a 3-for-3 effort from the plate.
Lund scored the final run for his team after leading off the top of the fourth with a triple to give his team a 14-3 lead, which proved to be the final score.
“We’re feeling good — it’s awesome,” Lund said after the game. “We’re taking it one game and just having fun.”
With the win Bingham advances in the winners bracket and will take on Syracuse at Utah Valley University in Orem Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Taylorsville falls to the one-loss bracket and will take on Copper Hills on Monday at UVU.