Mountain Crest took a big step in positioning itself to make a run for the 4A Baseball State Championship.
The fifth-seeded Mustangs built a 7-0 lead against fourth-seeded Stansbury and held on for a 7-6 victory Monday afternoon at Salt Lake Community College. Mountain Crest has now won eight of its last nine games.
“It did get a little exciting at the end, but we held on for the win,” MC head coach Stephen Hansen said.
The Mustangs (21-7) are among the final eight teams in 4A . With the win, they are guaranteed no worse than sixth. They take on Region 11 foe Bear River on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. as the Bears pulled off a big upset in beating top-seeded Desert Hills, 8-6, in eight innings.
“Bear River had a great win over Desert Hills,” Hansen said. “Playing them tomorrow will be a great challenge. They always put a good team on the field. It should be a great ball game.”
Mountain Crest did take two of three from the Bears (17-12) in the final region series of the regular season. However, the last loss the Mustangs suffered was against Bear River.
A third region team also was victorious late Monday night. Ridgeline won a pitchers duel against Pine View, 3-1.
Against the Stallions (22-6), Brayden Schiess went six innings on the mound, allowing five hits, striking out five and walking four. Lance Welch came in to get the save, but not without some drama.
After scoring five runs in the third and adding two more in the fourth, it looked like Mountain Crest was going to run away with it. Stansbury clawed back and ended up scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it real interesting.
“Brayden pitched another great game for us with Lance Welch coming in to get the save,” Hansen said. “We had some good at bats in the middle of the game to score seven runs.”
Schiess also had a good day at the plate with two hits, three RBI and scored a run. Marco Bellantoni also had two base knocks, including a double and scored twice. Caden Jones had a double and two RBI. Six Mustangs recorded a hit as the team finished with eight for the game and committed two errors.
The sixth-seeded Riverhawks (20-7) found themselves down a run to the Panthers (18-6) after the first inning. Traton Staheli had an RBI double to start the game for Pine View.
Ridgeline dug in, and starting pitcher Jaden Harris went to work, along with the defense behind him. Harris would allow just four hits for the game and struck out nine. He walked three.
“Jaden was a beast,” Ridgeline head coach Paul Bowler said.
Pine View starter Brock Roundy was equally impressive as he only gave up four hits to the Riverhawks. He struck out 12, walked two and hit a batter. The Panthers did have two errors, while the Riverhawks had zero.
Ridgeline got on the scoreboard in the third. Davis Fullmer smacked a double to left field with one out. Kole Jenson traded him places with an RBI double to left as well. Marshall Hansen brought Jenson home with an RBI single to give the Riverhawks a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth, Ridgeline tacked on an insurance run. Jaxen Hollingsworth was hit by a pitch, went to second on a wild pitch and ended up on third on another wild pitch. Evan Webb brought his teammate home with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Panthers tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh. A pair of singles began the frame. Harris then struck out a batter. Catcher Carter Gill threw out a would-be stealer at second as Hollingsworth applied the tag. Harris ended the game with his ninth strikeout.
“Everyone came to play,” Bowler said. “It was really fun to see the energy and confidence they all had tonight. Great game, great win.”
Ridgeline will now play second-seeded Snow Canyon Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Warriors edged Dixie, 7-6.