OREM Orem High baseball coach Gary Miner is one who stresses the importance of putting pressure on opposing teams' defenses.
In Monday's 11-1, five-inning rout of the Olympus Titans, the Tigers applied all of the things they've been working on in practice that forces opponents to play defense. Orem batters scattered nine hits, struck out only twice and repeatedly turned pitches in the dirt into extra bases advancing on two stolen bases and five wild pitches.
"We teach the philosophy that we got a single, but we want a triple," Miner said.
That aggressiveness at the plate and on the base paths also forced the Titans into five errors, which helped the Tigers score their 11 runs on only seven singles and two doubles. Orem put at least three runners on base in every inning and scored in each of its four innings of offense.
"We want teams to have to play defense to get us out," Miner said. The pitching of senior Nate Adamson also helped greatly in the lopsided win. Adamson didn't allow a hit through three innings, allowed only two singles in five innings, struck out six and walked only two. He had good control, good movement on his pitches and never gave the Titans anything too fat to hit.
"It's easy to throw strikes when there's a defense behind you like the one I have," Adamson said, acknowledging that the Tigers did not make an error.
Orem took a big lead early with four runs in the first. Travis Strong led off with a double to right-center field. A bunt single by Jeff Mella and a walk by C. J. Harrison loaded the bases. The Tigers' first run scored on a bases-loaded walk by Goose Kallunki. Mark Morgan pushed the second run home with a sacrifice fly to deep right. The third run scored on an Olympus throwing error and the fourth came home on Colton Baird's two-out RBI single.
The Tigers got some help in the second when back-to-back errors put two runners on. A third error, this one of the throwing variety, plated Orem's fifth run. Harrison then ripped a deep liner to left field that scored two more. The Tigers went up 8-0 on Morgan's RBI single.
Even though Orem got three singles in the third and scored two more runs in the inning to take a 10-0 lead, one crossed on a balk and the other on another Olympus error.
The Titans avoided the shutout when Justin Davis got Olympus' first hit with a single up the middle with one out in the fourth.
A follow-up bloop single by Preston Fairbourn and a walk loaded the bases, which set up Eric Wood's RBI fly-out to right.A two-out RBI single by Jordan Johnston in the fourth put the Tigers back ahead by 10, and Adamson closed it out with a quick fifth, which included two strikeouts.
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