SOUTH JORDAN — Gifted some extra outs on Friday afternoon, American Fork made the most of them in the series decider against Bingham.
The Cavemen took advantage of three Bingham errors and a costly wild pitch to roll to the 9-2 victory in the rubber match between the Region 4 rivals.
Bingham took Game 1 on Monday, but the Cavemen battled back for wins on Thursday and Friday.
“I like how our guys competed. They took that first one and we needed to respond. Bingham is well coached with tough kids. We had better efforts from our guys as the series went on,” said American Fork coach Jared Ingersoll.
American Fork broke open a close game with three runs in the fifth inning and then five more in the seventh. All of the runs in the fifth inning were unearned.
The run support was more than enough for Travis Johnson, who got better as the game wore on. He struck out seven batters in 5 2/3 innings, including striking out the side in the fourth.
“Travis was effective today. We need his leadership on the mound,” said Ingersoll.
Timely outs in the third inning paved the way for Johnson’s win on the mound. With runners at the corners and no outs, Johnson forced Bingham’s next batter to hit into a double play up the middle. When the next two batters singled, Johnson forced a pop out for the third out as the Miners managed just one run in a potentially big inning.
Tied 1-1 after four, American Fork took control in fifth by piling on Bingham’s miscues. Jim Flinders led off the inning by reaching first base on a wild pitch despite striking out.
After a sacrifice by Peyton Wilson moved Flinders, Brayden Howard and Jack Walker reached on a walk and bunt single to load the bases. Dawson Parry hit a sac fly to center to drive in Howard to give American Fork the 2-1 lead, but when the next batter hit a grounder to short it looked like Bingham would keep the damage to the minimum.Comment on this story
The infielder didn’t scoop the ball cleanly though, and that bobble allowed Stockton Brems to beat out the throw to first. Both of American Fork’s hustling base runners scored, Howard from third and Walker from second for the 4-1 lead.
Bingham cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom half of the fifth inning on a wild pitch, but in the seventh American Fork took control for good.
With one out, five straight American Fork runners reached base with three singles, a walk and an error. Kenji Hull capped the big inning with a two-out single to right for the punctuation mark on the 9-2 win.