TAYLORSVILLE Taylorsville's 18-6 win over American Fork in the second round of the 5A playoffs boiled down to two things: minimizing mistakes, and maximizing on an opponent's miscues.
"We knew coming in that they were a good hitting team and we would need to try to hold them down and then capitalize on our opportunities," said Warriors coach Guy Mackay. "I thought we did that enough to get a win. I never thought it would turn out like this, though."
The first Taylorsville inning was an indication of how things were going to go. Zane Pulver reached on an error, and two batters later, Austin Maddy made the Cavemen pay with a two-run home run over the left-field wall.
"I have been seeing the ball pretty well," said Maddy. "I was looking for a fastball to drive, but he hung a curve for me and I drilled it."
If spotting the Warriors two runs wasn't enough, the wheels came off for American Fork in the second inning. Two walks, a hit batsman, three errors and six hits plated 10 runs for the Region 2 champs.
McKade Christensen had an RBI single and run-scoring double, and Maddy had one RBI on a walk with the bases loaded. Tim Lesuma added a two-run single, and J.J. Santisteven captured three RBIs in his two plate appearances during the rally with an RBI double and a two-run single that scored three when the Cavemen committed one of their eight errors in the game.
"It was just one of those things," said Mackay of the 14-batter inning. "We booted a few balls yesterday in our win over Copper Hills, and they struggled today."
With a 12-1 lead, Taylorsville hurler Preston Olson knew his job was going to be to throw strikes and let his defense get it done behind him. Olson did his job as he scattered seven hits in allowing six runs while walking four.
"He didn't have his best stuff," said Mackay, "but he did what was asked of him and never let them have one of those big rallies."
The Warriors added three runs in the third on Lesuma's third RBI of the game and two more errors from American Fork. Maddy had his fourth RBI in the fourth inning completing a 2-for-3 day with the home run.
According to Mackay, Maddy's performance was not unexpected as he has been swinging the bat really well all season.
"He has worked himself into a great hitter," Mackay said. "We came home from a game against Jordan where he was 4-for-4 and it was near dark, but next thing you know there is Austin over in the cage swinging away. He may have been a bit of a surprise coming into the season, but not anymore. He is just a great hitter."
American Fork was led by Andy Lewis and Scott LeFrandt, who both had two RBIs.The 5A tournament moves to UVSC for the remainder of the games. The Cavemen drop to the one-loss side of the bracket and face Viewmont Monday at 1:30 p.m. Taylorsville is in the winners' bracket semifinals, playing Riverton Monday at 7 p.m.