OREM In a defensive struggle throughout six innings, Pine View's bats came alive in the seventh inning scoring five runs to put away host Mountain View 10-4 Wednesday.
The Panthers (9-3, 20-4) played their own brand of error-free baseball and took advantage of Mountain View's missteps.
"I told the guys after the game that we won the game because we played defense today," Pine View head coach Jonathan Howell said. "Early on, we got some extra opportunities and maybe got some runs that we probably would not have gotten, but our defense and pitching kept us in it."
Pine View got two runs in the third inning off of Mountain View mistakes. With two outs and two on, a passed ball scored Marcus Littlewood and moments later an error in the field allowed Austin Smith to reach home for the early 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Mountain View cut the lead to one as Caleb Loveland ripped an RBI double to center field. Then in the fifth inning, the Bruins tied the score when Spencer Riley hit a deep home run over the right-field fence.
The sixth inning was full of action. Addison Jolley got Pine View started with an RBI double to deep left field, scoring later on Justin Ence's sacrifice. Another Bruin fielding error allowed Pine View to go up 5-2.
But Mountain View showed their resilience scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut into that lead at 5-4.
"Going into the sixth inning, it is a tight game anybody's game and then in the seventh inning, we started swinging the bats better and were able to break the game open a little bit," Howell said.
In the seventh, Mountain View replaced Cameron Schmidt, who had been on the mound the entire game, and reserve Sam Roden struggled to get outs as Pine View scored five runs to put the game away.
"He (Schmidt) started to get tired and we had to make a move, and the move didn't work out so great," said Bruins coach Chris Cooper. "They hit us and they outplayed us today."
Throwing the entire game for Pine View was Nate Littlewood, who despite only striking out four, threw an excellent game.
Littlewood "just battled," Howell said. "It was a tough day, I don't know how many strikeouts he had but we have guys that pitch to location and rely on our defense. In the first two games of the state tournament we have had guys who have done that and he just battled today."Pleased with how his team responded after winning Tuesday at home and then traveling to play just a day later, Howell said if the Panthers keep playing defense like they have focused on all season, then good things will continue.
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