High school baseball: Jordan Beetdiggers put on power display to blow away Bingham
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SOUTH JORDAN — A fierce windstorm blew into town Tuesday afternoon, the kind that threatens to knock out all the electricity in the neighborhood at any moment.
It wouldn't have mattered much, though, because when it came to power, heck, Jordan High's baseball team was putting on a pretty impressive display of its own.
Colton Shaver and Mason Hayes each hit two-run homers, Christian Bailey had three hits and three RBIs, and Cale Hathaway hammered a three-run blast in the sixth inning to put the final exclamation point on the Beetdiggers' 13-6 victory over defending 5A state champion Bingham at wind-swept Bailey Santistevan Field.
"We hit it really well today," Jordan coach Chad Fife said of his team's 14-hit attack that included three doubles along with those three home runs. "We're swinging the bats well.
"Defensively, I didn't think we were that good, though. We made a lot of mistakes in the field, so hopefully we can clean those up.
"We've just got to play better defense," he said, "but I do think the wind was playing a role in that. That darned wind. It changed directions and was coming in sidewards at the end."
Despite gusty conditions fit for an America's Cup race on the high seas, Jordan ran its league-leading record to 7-0 in Region 3 and improved to a superb 15-2 overall by scoring two or more runs in four different innings.
"We really emphasize scoring in every inning, which helps us out a lot," Hathaway said.
Slender senior southpaw Morgan Gomez labored through 4 2/3 innings to pick up the win, which wasn't easy considering the blustering breezes blew him off the pitching mound on a couple of occasions and carried his cap halfway to the outfield another time.
"He pitched a gutty game," Fife said of Gomez. "His pitch count got a little high in the fifth and he just got a little tired in the end, which I think partly was that wind just beating on him."
Mason Krueger came on with two outs in the fifth and put out the Miners' fire, as the only hits he gave up were a couple of Bingham batters that he plunked with pitches in 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief.
Bailey got things started for the Beetdiggers by bouncing a two-run single through the left side in the first inning, and Gomez followed with an RBI single up the middle to give Jordan an early 3-0 lead.
"We know they're a good team, so it was good to go out there and get a nice win," Bailey said. "We didn't have that good of a game out in the field, and the wind was definitely a factor. But we picked it up with our bats, especially when they cut into our lead a couple of times."
Hayes led off the third with a double off the wall in right-center and, one out later, Bailey doubled into the gap in left-center to make it 4-0.
But Bingham got right back in the game with three runs in the bottom half of the third thanks to three Jordan errors, a wind-blown single, a hit batter and Tyler Zupon's run-scoring double.
Shaver's two-run shot over the left-field fence made it 6-3 in the fourth, but the Miners again battled back as Cody Kitchen singled, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Landen Measom's double to left-center.
Then it was the Beetdiggers' turn again, as they put four more runs on the board in the fifth inning, aided by a throwing error, to regain a 10-4 lead, with the big blow coming on Hayes' towering two-run homer into the airstream.
"We'll take a wind shot any day," Fife said.
"I was seeing the ball good and I hit that one really high up into the air and let the wind take care of it," Hayes said with a smile of his high-arching shot. "We're coming together good as a team. We just need to fix up our defense a little bit."
The Miners again chipped away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, though, getting a sacrifice fly by Trevor Carlile and an RBI single up the middle by Kitchen to pull within 10-6.
But Jordan put it out of reach when Hathaway stepped up to the plate in the sixth and launched a no-doubt, three-run homer far over the right-field fence.
"I was struggling a little bit at the beginning," said Hathaway, who struck out in his second and third at-bats, "but I hit it pretty well at the end. He left a ball up and in and I hit it pretty good.
"We really took advantage of runners on base and came up with some big hits, and that's the key to winning games."
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