OREM Even though it felt like Bingham had control of the game against Riverton, the Miners still found a way to win 2-1 in dramatic fashion Friday.
Bingham had led the entire game but found itself tied 1-1 in extra innings, when Nate Rasmussen hit a solo home run over the fence in left field to put the Miners on top for good.
"(The pitch) was down and in, I just happened to put the barrel on it," said Rasmussen. "I knew he had been throwing curve balls, so I was just sitting on a curveball. ... I kind of felt it was gone but you still run hard, and when the left fielder stopped it felt good."
Bingham scored its first run in the first inning off the bat of Rasmussen as well, and it appeared for most of the game that that run might be enough to win the pitching duel.
Pitcher Matt Crook almost went the distance for Bingham, but just when it looked like the Miners would walk away with the shutout, Riverton's Davis Johnson drove the ball to the gap in left-center field to score Connor Woodward from second base in the bottom of the seventh, tying the game at 1-1.
With one out and the winning-run in scoring position, Rasmussen came in to relieve Crook and struck out his first batter. But then Riverton's Scott Shipley put a ball into the gap in right and almost won the game if it weren't for Parker Jenkins' diving catch while colliding with his teammate Kyle Harrison. The two Miner outfielders were at full speed when they hit each other in mid-air, but somehow Jenkins came away with the ball to keep Bingham's title hopes alive.
"I just dove for it, and out of the corner of my eye I saw (Harrison) diving for it, too," said Jenkins. "I just ended up with it, I don't know how I caught it."
In the bottom of the eighth, Rasmussen took the mound again to close out his relief effort with three quick outs.
The Miners will face Timpanogos in today's championship game, but if they are to bring home the state title they will have to beat the Timberwolves twice.
After the game Friday, Rasmussen was already looking forward to the challenge."You don't even think about Game 2, you just think about Game 1," he said. "They have already beat us 9-3, so they are confident, but coming off the four straight wins we are confident, too."