The road to an American Legion state title just got a lot more difficult for Blacksmith Fork.
The Trappers jumped out to an early lead, but stagnated a bit offensively in a hard-fought 4-3 loss to Lone Peak in the winner’s bracket of the Utah State Legion Championship on Monday night at Gates Field in Kearns.
“It was a well-played ballgame in both sides,” BF head coach Stephen Hansen said. “In the first inning we scored two and if we could have scored maybe four, it would have been a different game. But we played well, but just came up short. But Lone Peak’s a very good team and good program, and we held our own against them.”
Indeed, Mountain Crest’s American Legion program had a golden opportunity to manufacture more than two runs in the bottom of the first. The Trappers started off the game with back-to-back-to-back singles by Braydon Schiess, Hayden Simper and Caleb Archibald. Caleb Jones was then plunked with the bases loaded, giving Blacksmith Fork a 1-0 lead with zero outs.
However, Lone Peak was able to limit the damage to one run the rest of the inning. The Misfits then proceeded to hold the Trappers without another hit until the bottom of the fourth. Caden Jones smacked a lead-off double in the fourth, but was left stranded on third base.
Lone Peak scored once in the third, twice in the fourth and once again in the fifth to take a 4-2 advantage. The Misfits, who belted four doubles in the contest, were in great shape to extend their lead even more, but Blacksmith Fork relief pitcher Ian McArthur came up big.
In the fifth and seventh frames, McArthur gave up some hits, but buckled down and slammed the door without any further damage when Lone Peak had runners on second and third.
“Our pitchers came up big in those spots,” Hansen said. “I believe we got a strikeout in one of them and then a couple of pop flys, and so on, so that’s the biggest thing is limiting the damage and just keeping us in the ballgame, which is what (our pitchers) did.”
Blacksmith Fork pulled a run back in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI groundout by Cooper Murphy. However, the Trappers left the tying run at second base and were retired in order in their final at-bats.
Jones singled twice, in addition to being hit by a pinch, while Simper went 2 for 3 with two runs for the Trappers, who had their 15-game winning streak snapped. Ethan Lamb doubled and singled twice for the Misfits, who will play Springville in a winner’s bracket showdown Tuesday night at 7 o’clock.
Blacksmith Fork must now win four straight games to capture the title, including a pair on Tuesday. Up next for the Trappers is Herriman on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Should Blacksmith Fork prevail, it will play again at 4 p.m.
The rest of the tourney will be contested at Gates Field.
The Trappers earned a shot at the Misfits by rolling past Tooele, 12-4, last Saturday at Salt Lake Community College. Blacksmith Fork jumped out to a 10-0 lead after four innings and never looked back.
Blacksmith Fork scored at least one run in each of the first four innings, but inflicted most of its damage in the second, courtesy of three base knocks, one walk, one hit batsman and four Tooele errors.
The Trappers racked up 12 hits against the Bears, including three by Schiess and Lance Welch. Murphy chipped in with a pair of hits and RBIs, while Schiess and Welch combined to score five runs.
Welch also shined on the mound as he held the Bears scoreless during his four innings. The Mountain Crest junior-to-be allowed two hits, struck out four and walked none.
“Oh, it was very nice,” Hansen said. “That’s one thing that we’ve been working on and trying to do is play a full seven innings, and we did that on Saturday and also today, but we’re playing good baseball and just trying to get better for (next) spring.”
HAWKS 11, TITANS 5
Sky View’s American Legion season came to an end at the double elimination tourney last Saturday. Alta scored five times in the first inning and put a four-spot on the scoreboard in the third to take a commanding 9-0 advantage over North Cache.
To their credit, the Titans didn’t fold after getting blanked during the first three frames. Instead, North Cache plated at least one run in each of the final four innings.
Joey Cortez had three of the Titans’ 10 hits. Chayse Oxborrow and Stetsen Karren added two hits apiece for North Cache, and Oxborrow also scored twice.
The Titans only committed one error.