Not to get ahead of themselves, but the Mustangs are one win away from playing for the 4A state baseball title.
In an all-Region 11 showdown Tuesday at Salt Lake Community College in West Jordan, Mountain Crest did just enough to knock off Bear River for the third time this season. The Mustangs won a wild one, 9-8.
“We came out and hit the ball and put some runs on the board,” MC head coach Stephen Hansen said. “And we needed every one of them.”
Indeed, the Mustangs (22-7) did.
Trailing 9-4 at one point, the Bears (17-13) got back into the game with four runs in the fifth off three doubles. The final two innings were nail-bitting time for both teams with so much on the line.
“We kept grinding and did what we needed to do to win,” Hansen said. “Wins are not easy.”
Bear River must now face top-seeded Desert Hills again on Wednesday. The Bears already upset the Thunder once, but it will be a tall order to do it again. The winner of that game then must take on Mountain Crest at 4:30 p.m. The Mustangs need just one to advance, while the Bears and Thunder need two.
On the other side the bracket, Ridgeline ran into a tough Snow Canyon squad. The Riverhawks were blanked, 6-0, and can’t afford another loss or it’s season over.
Bear River scored first against Mountain Crest when Hunter Smoot tripled, and Jarett Giles brought him home with a single in the top of the first. The Mustangs responded with a run when Dax Roundy walked, went to third on a single by Caden Jones and scored on a balk.
The Bears took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third on two singles and two RBI ground outs.
Just like they had in the first, the Mustangs answered. Only this time the designated home team plated five runs. Kolmyn Foulger led off with a double and scored on a single by Braydon Schiess. After a single by Roundy, Jones smacked a two-run double to right field to put the Mustangs ahead. Nathan Rowley had an RBI single as Mountain Crest scored four runs before getting an out. Rowley would make it 6-3 after stealing home.
After Bear River scored a run in the fourth, the Mustangs brought home three more in the bottom of the fourth. Roundy had a two-run double to center field after Foulger and Schiess had singled. A Bear River error allowed Roundy to score.
There were some tense moments in the top of the seventh. With two outs, a pair of walks had the Bears feeling some new life. However, Mustang catcher Hudson Phelps snagged a foul ball pop up for the final out.
Jones led the 11-hit day by the Mustangs with three. Foulger, Schiess and Roundy each had two hits. Roundy scored three times. Andrew Nielsen three five innings to get the win. Lance Welch, who had a double, got the save.
The Bears were led by Alex Callister with three hits as they finished with 13 base knocks. Smoot, Giles and Marcus Callister each had a pair of hits.
In the nightcap, Ridgeline (20-8) could never muster any momentum on offense. Davis Fullmer had a two-out triple for the Riverhawks first hit of the game in the fourth inning, but was left at third. Kole Jenson had a two-out single in the seventh for the only other hit.
Snow Canyon (25-4) plated a run in the second on a wild pitch, added two more in the fifth on two walks and two RBI singles and put the game away with three in the sixth with three doubles. Warrior pitcher Isaac Lyon struck out nine and issued one walk.
The Riverhawks used three pitchers, combining to walk 10 and strike out three.
Ridgeline will face Dixie on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in a must-win game.