High school baseball: Big 7th inning lifts Mountain View over Kearns in 4A playoffs
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
KEARNS — With their first-round playoff game against Kearns knotted up at 2-apiece, Mountain View's players briefly huddled before coming up to bat in the top of the seventh inning. At the top of their lungs, they shouted: "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose."
The Bruins' full-hearted, last-minute efforts helped them put the bat on the ball and the pressure on the Cougars. Mountain View rallied for four runs off four costly errors by Kearns and a squeeze bunt by Parker Bingham to escape with a 6-2 come-from-behind victory in the 4A tournament Tuesday afternoon.
“We always know we can do it (win). We really feel like we can beat anybody at any time,” Mountain View coach Steve Boyack said. “Our kids just go up there with a ton of confidence. They have been a great hitting team this year, and there was almost no doubt in my mind that we were going to do that in that last inning. They helped us out a little bit, but our kids put it in play.”
Kearns (12-10, 10-4) got things rolling in the bottom of the first when sophomore Aaron Bass made contact to bring home two runners and give the home team an early 2-0 lead.
That’s just about as many hits as Mountain View junior ace Jordan Raab allowed the Cougars the rest of the day, however.
Raab was fantastic all afternoon as he picked up the complete-game victory on the mound, surrendering just four hits and two runs in a full seven innings of work.
“Jordan pitched a great game tonight,” Boyack said. “He’s been solid for us all year and was really solid again tonight. He stayed right around the plate, never lost his composure, and just did a really great job for us.”
Mountain View (14-11, 8-4) cut its deficit in half in the top of the third when Steven Rodriguez and Riley Sanborn smacked back-to-back singles and Rodriguez crossed the plate on a throwing error on Sanborn’s base hit.
The Bruins were far from done chopping away at the deficit however, as they plated one more in the sixth off second baseman Hayden Young’s RBI single to left field before leaving everything they had out on the field in the seventh.
“Hayden had a great game-tying RBI there in the sixth, and the kids really just gave it everything they had in that last inning.”
The first two batters of the inning were able to reach first base off back-to-back fielding errors by Kearns, giving Mountain View momentum.
That’s when the wheels fell off and Kearns literally began to drop the ball.
The next two batters drew walks and after yet another costly throwing error by the Cougars, the Bruins were able to get another run across the plate.
Young then laid down a perfectly executed squeeze bunt — which junior Derek Lecheminant followed up with an RBI of his own — to give the Bruins a commanding 6-2 lead.
Despite giving up a leadoff single to left field, Raab and the Bruins cruised in the home-half of the seventh to preserve the first-round victory.
“Our kids have been tough all year coming from behind if we get down, and we did it again tonight. We were close all the way through, but our kids never say die and came through really tough in that last inning.”
With the win, the Bruins advance in the winners bracket and will play at Mountain Crest Wednesday.
Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications, and has been a part-time sportswriter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724
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