SOUTH JORDAN — A somewhat shocking thing happened to defending 5A baseball champion Bingham in its latest quest for another state championship.
The Miners got absolutely manhandled.
In stunning fashion, Alta High hammered Bingham with a 16-hit assault, as the Hawks put seven runs up on the scoreboard in both the third and sixth innings on their way to an impressive 16-5 victory in the championship bracket of this year's 5A tournament being played at Salt Lake Community College.
With the win, which was called after six innings due to the 10-run rule, the Hawks (17-11) soar into the 5A championship semifinals, where they'll face American Fork on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Kearns High's Gates Field.
Bingham (22-5), which had its nine-game winning streak snapped with the lopsided loss, drops into the one-loss bracket, where the Miners will meet Syracuse in an elimination game today at 4 p.m. at SLCC.
Alta's Beau Kallas led the Hawks' assault with a perfect 4-for-4 night at the plate — he was hit by a pitch in his other time at-bat — and slugged a home run and two doubles on his way to four RBIs. He also scored four runs and came up a single short of hitting for the cycle.
"I knew we could (come out and stick it to Bingham); I didn't necessarily think we would," Kallas said. "We had a lot of momentum after that Taylorsville win (11-0 in the second round) and we just wanted to go up there and get some good at-bats and hit the ball well. We pitched it well and hit it well."
Kallas admitted he "thought about tripping at first" to give him the cycle at the plate, but was glad to get his second double of the night. And he admitted that being in the dugout as they piled it on the powerful Miners was a mighty good time.
"That's the best feeling ever," he said. "It's fun to be out on the field but it's funner to be with your buddies and just having a blast. I'm just excited to come out and get the win tonight.
"I definitely feel like we're rolling. We hit a peak a little bit during the season and then we hit a little rut, and I think we're getting it going again here at the end of the year at the right time. Hopefully we can keep it going."
"It feels good but we've said it the whole year, it's just one game," Kallas said. "We can't revel in it. The next game's A.F. and that's what we're focusing on right now. It'll be a good challenge for us. We're looking forward to it."
Khale Tilby picked up the complete-game victory for the Hawks, allowing seven hits and four earned runs with four strikeouts and a walk.
Along with Kallas, Tilby got plenty of hitting support from Cole Meyers, who went 3-for-3 with two RBIs; Devin Relf, who had two hits and knocked in two more runs; and Braydon Goddard, Mark Cavaness, Brittan Wren, Chipper Lucero and Jesse Emery, who each had an RBI in the rout.
In all, the Hawks had seven extra-base hits — four doubles, two triples and Kallas' home run.
Alta scored once in the first and, after Bingham tied it at 1-1 in the second, the Hawks unleashed seven hits and scored seven runs in the third inning to take an 8-1 lead. Bingham battled back, scoring four runs in the bottom of the third to make it 8-5, and it looked like the Miners still had plenty of life left in them.
But Alta scored a run in the fourth to make it 9-5, then broke it open with seven more runs in the sixth on their way to something nobody could ever remember a team doing to Bingham — beating them in a 10-run-rule rout.
Connor Williams had two hits and an RBI for the Miners, and Josh Sandquist and Brady Lail also knocked in runs for Bingham.
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