Going into that last inning, we just told them to keep at it and get back to what we do best. —Daron Connelly, Corner Canyon coach
DRAPER — The Corner Canyon baseball team got back to what it does best just in time to nip Skyline 4-3 in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
A hard-hit ball by Conner Ebeling wasn't able to be fielded by the Eagles, as the Chargers completed a 2-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to come out on top and move on in the winner's bracket.
"We got it going when we needed to there late," said Corner Canyon coach Daron Connelly. "We started out great, but then just couldn't get done what we usually do. So it was great to end it like that."
After getting off to an early 2-0 lead after one inning, the Chargers' batters couldn't do much of anything. Skyline starting pitcher Blake Tomlinson really settled in after a shaky first en route to recording 15 straight outs heading into the bottom of the seventh.
The Eagle batters picked up their pitcher in the meanwhile — scoring two runs in the top of the second and then one more in the top of the fifth off an RBI double by Brendan Lacey.
"We've been a team that gets 10 hits per game, but we just lost our approach, for whatever reason, after getting off to a real good start," Connelly said. "Going into that last inning, we just told them to keep at it and get back to what we do best."
Down 3-2, Corner Canyon senior Garrett Nicholson led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, and then stole second to get the rally going. Another single, this one by Marshall Nice, put runners at the corners before a failed rundown of Nicholson between third base and home plate, after a grounder by Mason Peters, loaded the bases with no outs.
Two batters later, Mason Olsen singled home a run, to tie it up at 3-3 before Ebeling sent home the winning run.
"These are the type of games that give you some gray hairs, as a coach, but it is what it is and fortunately it all ended well," Connelly said. "The seniors really stepped up late and we'll now move on toward our goal of getting five wins, which it takes to win this thing, and now we just need four."
Next up for Corner Canyon will be a game against Region 8 power Spanish Fork — a game Connelly knows will challenge his players.
"There's been a lot of firsts this year, like hosting a playoff game. This is the first time we've been able to do that, and then beating a team like Spanish Fork — that will be another big mark for us, if we can get that done," Connelly said. "Spanish Fork is obviously a great team, but to reach our goal we'll have to meet up with them some time, so why not in the second round?"
Corner Canyon will meet up with the Dons Wednesday at 4 p.m. Skyline is bounced down to the one-loss bracket with the loss and will try and rebound against Odgen, also at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.