OREM — Taking a win in the manner Lone Peak did on Wednesday is a big deal, but throwing in the stage it came on, and who it came against, made it that much bigger.
Trey Gambill roped a hit just inside the right field line that scored the winning run for the Knights in the bottom of the eighth inning to give his team an 8-7 win over American Fork. The win vaults Lone Peak to the final game in the one-loss bracket of the 6A state tournament, while ending the Caveman season in brutal fashion.
"It feels amazing. I knew it was going to score the winning run right when it came off the bat," Gambill said. "I'm so glad, sending (American Fork) home. They sent my older brother home a few times, so I'm glad I got to send them home."
Indeed, there is usually no love lost when Lone Peak squares off against American Fork in any sport, but the way the Knights took the win made it that much sweeter for them.
American Fork appeared poised to cruise to an easy win after mounting a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning. The six-run margin held entering the bottom half of the sixth, with the Cavemen leading 7-1 and with the Knights unable to provide much indication of flipping the tables.
But that bottom half of the sixth proved pivotal, with Lone Peak staging a five-run with all scores coming after American Fork accounted for two outs. Tate Holmes provided the inning's biggest hit with a 3-RBI triple in a pinch-hit situation that cut the Caveman lead to 7-5 before Keegan Nitta cut it down to just one run with an RBI single.
"This team has a lot of fight," Gambill said. "We're never out of a game and we know we can play with anybody ... We all know we can play and we just came back."
Of course, coming all the way back had to wait one more inning, with Gambill able to score the game-tying run clear from second base on an infield single off the bat of Matt Barney. Gambill looked to be thrown out until the throw in to the catcher was bobbled shortly before the tag was applied.
"That was a crazy play," Gambill said. "It could have been a different story if he got that tag, but sometimes the ball rolls your way."Comment on this story
With the win, Lone Peak rolls on as one of the four remaining teams in the tournament and will next take on Fremont, which held on to defeat defending champion Bingham 6-4. The Silverwolves jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning and held on despite yielding four runs to the Miners in the fourth.
Leading the way for Fremont was Brayden Clark, who went 3-4 from the plate.
Lone Peak will square off versus Fremont on Thursday, with the winner advancing to take on the loser of Pleasant Grove vs. Syracuse.