The 10-run mercy rule is being put to the test in the 5A baseball state championships.
The rule, designed to prevent teams from throttling opponents too terribly, calls for games to end after five innings if one team leads by more than 10 runs. And with the 5A tournament being played at cozy Ken Price Park in Murray, high-scoring games are the norm, and often that means one team has a chance to rack up the runs in a hurry.That was exactly the case when Hillcrest dominated Viewmont 15-2 in five innings. The win allows the Huskies to advance to Friday's semifinal round against Alta. .
"So far, so good," said Hillcrest coach Gary Daniels after his team became one of only two teams yet to suffer a loss in the playoffs.
The Huskies actually trailed in the game as Viewmont scored twice in the second inning and carried a 2-0 lead into the third.
That's when the Huskies bared their teeth.
A five-run third was followed by a three-run fourth.
That preceded another three-run inning and all the scoring was capped by a four-run sixth that put the game far out of reach for the Vikings.
"We do a pretty good job of hitting the ball," Daniels understated. "We're looking to hit the ball hard. That's our goal; to hit the ball hard and make them play defense."
Those hard-hit balls resulted in 14 hits - including four home runs and three doubles. Viewmont, on the other hand, struggled to get much of anything going offensively after the second inning.
Jake Jordison allowed both runs - unearned - but settled into a rhythm and never let up. In fact, the junior pitcher got in on the fireworks when he smacked a three-run homer in the fourth to put the Huskies up 8-2.
"I'm happy," Jordison said. "Anytime you can help yourself is great."
Another reason the Huskies are happy is that they stayed in the winners bracket. Instead of having to play in the one-loss bracket Wednesday, Hillcrest gets to rest and prepare for a Friday afternoon encounter with Alta at Franklin Quest Field.
"We're really starting to come on with our bats," Jordison said. "And as long as we can keep winning and stay out of the losers bracket we should do real good."
ALTA 15, SKYLINE 3: In another lopsided, five-run affair, the Region 3 champion Hawks soared with multi-run homers from Ryan Curtis (a grand slam), Clint Rawson (a three-run dinger) and Jeff Pery (a two-run shot).
TAYLORSVILLE 9, BINGHAM 7: In a do-or-die situation pairing long-time rivals, the Warriors used a four-run third inning to beat the Miners and stay alive. John Buck, Mike Lewis and Nick Ballard each doubled for T-Ville, and Collin Kyte went yard for Bingham.
BRIGHTON 13, TIMPANOGOS 3: The Bengals hammered the Timberwolves in five innings. Sean Overholt pitched the complete game and allowing just five hits for Brighton which advanced to play Viewmont Wednesday in a losers bracket game.