It was the dream scenario Wednesday night for Timpanogos senior Colin Schroeppel, the one every baseball player imagines:
Tie game in the state tournament against rival Mountain View, eighth inning, bases loaded, two outs, full count.
And Schroeppel came through big time, just like he imagined it.
A hard-hit line drive turned into a two-RBI single for Schroeppel and the Timberwolves, putting Timpanogos in front for good. There were still some tense moments but the T'wolves held on for the 8-6 win and advanced in the 4A playoffs.
"You dream about it but when it happens, it's a surreal situation," Schroeppel said. "I just wanted to come through for my team. I hadn't hit the ball well earlier in the game and had two strikeouts. I just wanted to put it in play."
Timpanogos head coach Kim Nelson called Schroeppel's performance "clutch."
It was a fittingly dramatic result in a strange game that saw a little bit of everything.
It can be hard to explain how two teams that struggle to score for six innings can have such breakout performances for one frame.
For the Timberwolves, that came in the top of the sixth where Timpanogos appeared to have put themselves in position to win with five runs.
But Mountain View, a tough team that has lost many close games, rallied in their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh.
The Bruins scored twice and loaded the bases with one out, when Shaun Snow drilled a bases-clearing triple to the wall in right field.
Suddenly Mountain View had gone from being nearly done to having the winning run just 90 feet from home plate.
The Bruins went for the win, trying to do something they do well. Mountain View called for the squeeze play with the runner going home.
"I was visualizing the ball in play," Nelson said. "We would be going home with our heads down having let them come back to win."
As the Bruin runner sped toward the plate, the pitch curved away from the Mountain View batter and he couldn't get to it. Instead of a bunt with the ball in play, it turned out to be an easy tag at home plate.
"He's a good bunter," said Bruin head coach Steve Boyack. "The curve just got him. I thought we had it."
Instead there were two outs and a strikeout sent the game into extra innings.
While Schroeppel came through for his squad, plus another run scored on a rundown, the three-run edge looked tenuous when Mountain View put its first two batters on base.
But Timpanogos senior relief pitcher Tanner Nielsen struck out the next two Bruins and induced a foul pop fly that was caught for the final out.
"How often does a pitcher get two wins in the same day?" Nelson said, referring to Nielsen defeating Cyprus 12-0 in the early game.
Mountain View saw its tournament come to an end but Boyack said he was proud of how much his Bruins accomplished.
"It's been a long time since we did anything at state," he said. "It was all about the integrity of the kids. They wanted to win for each other."
That will to win certainly showed itself in the first game of the day, when Mountain View saw a 9-4 lead against Murray evaporate.
Much of that was due to a costly Bruin throwing error that allowed the Spartans to score three runs, but Mountain View was able to capitalize on similar fortune.
With the game tied in the bottom of the seventh, the Bruins got a pair of two-out singles from Jantzen Wiscombe and Parker Bingham. The second single got past the Murray centerfielder, allowing Wiscombe to come all the way around for the game-winning score.
That set up the all-Region 8 showdown in the late game which turned out to be just as exciting.
With the win, Timpanogos advances to the final elimination bracket game where the T’Wolves will take on the loser of the Maple Mountain-Salem Hills showdown.
That game will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. at UVU.
Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or email@example.com. He can also be followed on Twitter at @JaredrLloyd.