The Trappers made a strong push to be one of the final three teams remaining in the Utah State American Legion tournament.
Jordan Matthews made sure that didn’t happen.
Matthews drove in five runs — four on a grand slam in the top of the sixth — propelling Salem Hills to a 7-3 victory over Blacksmith Fork in an elimination game Tuesday at Salt Lake Community College. Matthews was only a double shy from hitting for the cycle and also scored three runs.
“We just couldn’t get him out,” BF head coach Stephen Hansen said of Matthews. “... He’s a great a player. He got three hits against us the other day and I just noticed he hit another home run tonight against Pleasant Grove.”
Even with Matthews’ monster performance, the Trappers still had their chances against the Skyhawks. Blacksmith Fork put the ball in play all game long as it only struck out twice. Unfortunately for the Trappers, they stranded 10 base runners — five more than the Skyhawks.
“That was definitely the story of the game,” Hansen said. “We got runners on and we just couldn’t come up with some clutch hits. We had some guys up at the plate that we wanted and for some reason tonight the hits just didn’t fall for us in some key situations.”
The Trappers were in pretty good shape early on as they plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-1 lead. Ian McArthur drove in Tadon Burbank on a fielder’s choice. Lance Welch, who doubled earlier in the frame, came home on a Hayden Simper single.
Blacksmith Fork scored its first run in the first inning on a wild pitch to knot things up at 1-1.
Salem Hills which edged Blacksmith Fork by one run last Friday, pulled even at 3-all in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs. Matthews belted a RBI triple and would eventually score on a wild pitch.
Burbank went 2 for 3 with two runs and one walk for the Trappers. Welch doubled and singled, while Garrett Theurer chipped in with two base knocks for Blacksmith Fork, the No. 3 seed from the North Division.
“It was a good summer,” Hansen said. “I believe we’re starting to learn how to win a little bit and have some confidence and belief in ourselves. We made good strides, we’re becoming a good program and I believe next school season we’re going to be one of the teams to beat or the team to beat, and we’ll be ready to go. ... We came down here and played well, so it was a good showing for us.”
Salem Hills, the No. 2 seed from the South Division, ended up losing to Pleasant Grove, 10-3, in another elimination game Tuesday night. The Vikings, seeded fourth in the South, will square off against defending champion St. George in Wednesday’s championship tilt at SLCC. Pleasant Grove must defeat the Sentinels, the No. 3 seed from the South, twice to win the tourney.