BOUNTIFUL When Timpanogos fell to the No. 4 seed coming out of Region 4, people looked at the 5A playoff bracket and knew it was a tough draw for Viewmont, the No. 1 seed from Region 1. After the Timberwolves' 12-1, five-inning dismantling of the Vikings, perhaps it wouldn't have mattered which team had been in the way of the Timpanogos buzzsaw.
"We just needed one person to break through for us, and once that happened we got on a roll," said T-Wolves coach Kim Nelson. "Momentum is an extremely important thing in high school baseball. Once someone hit the ball hard, or got a break, everyone kind of followed with it."
The break for the T-Wolves came in the second inning and didn"t stop until they had put eight runs on the board. After being shut down in order in the top of the first, Grant Jimenez ripped a double as the first man up in the second. Mitch Foster and Rhett Nelson both singled, with Nelson driving in a run. Jordan Melhoff hit an RBI double and Christian Stewart had a sacrifice fly. Taylor Lyons scored on an error after doubling, and Foster completed the rally with a three-run double.
"The count was 2-0 and I saw a fastball outside," said Foster. "When it got to 3-1, I was looking for the same pitch, and I got it and drove it to the gap."
Timpanogos starting pitcher Rhett Nelson struggled through the first inning. He gave up two hits, a walk and a run, but he did work his way out of a jam by striking out two Vikings. Once the T-Wolves offense put the eight runs on the board, Nelson settled down and threw brilliantly the last four innings.
"You could almost see a difference in ... his face after getting the lead," said Kim Nelson. "You could see him relax and he went out with a different attitude."
Foster, who finished the day 3-for-4 with two doubles and the three RBIs, also was the catcher for Nelson's performance on the mound as the right-hander held the high-powered Vikings to only four hits.
"He was hitting his spots with his fastball," said Foster. "He got his slider going and even some split-fingered fastballs in the last couple of innings. He was throwing well."
While Nelson shut down Viewmont for the final four innings, Timpanogos scored one run in the third on a Jordan Cooper RBI single, and tacked on three more in the fourth led by Nelson's RBI single and one from Kellen McWhorter.
"We know we just need to keep playing our baseball," said Foster. "We had a couple of bad games in the last two weeks, but we never lost confidence that we can compete against anyone."Timpanogos next travels to Alta at 4 this afternoon in the championship bracket. Viewmont drops to the one-loss side of the tournament and plays host to West Jordan.