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Maple Mountain baseball beats Provo in 5A play-in

By Brian E. Preece - Herald Correspondent | May 13, 2022
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Provo and Maple Mountain baseball players shake hands after the 5A play-in game in Spanish Fork on Friday, May 13, 2022.
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Maple Mountain players huddle up after the 5A play-in game against Provo in Spanish Fork on Friday, May 13, 2022.
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Provo players huddle up after the 5A play-in game against Maple Mountain in Spanish Fork on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Maple Mountain senior Jackson Hollingshaus didn’t want his baseball season to end Friday.

He did everything he could to make sure the Golden Eagles advanced out of the one-and-done part of the 5A baseball tournament as No. 23 seed Maple Mountain topped No. 27 seed Provo, 12-4.

Hollingshaus took to the mound and hurled four hitless innings. On top of that, he reached base five times including a two-run blast that gave Maple Mountain the lead after the first frame.

All total, Hollingshaus scored three runs, added a double, batted in three and went 3-for-4 at the plate.

“I just squared it up,” said Hollingshaus on his home run that went over the left-field fence.

Though he had no-hit the Bulldogs through four innings, he had no issues being taken out of the game by Golden Eagle skipper Jeremy Thomas.

“No problems being taken out, since we have to watch my pitch count,” said Hollingshaus, who expects to be used again on Monday.

With the victory over Provo, Maple Mountain moves on to the regional format where they will now play Murray in a best-of-three series in which the No. 11 seeded Spartans will host all three games to be played at the historic Ken Price Ballpark in downtown Murray. The first game is set to be played at 1 p.m. Saturday with possibly two more on Monday if the teams split. The first game on Monday is also slated for a 1 p.m. start.

Hollingshaus was also very glad Maple Mountain moved on in the tournament.

“I love playing with my boys,” he said

Thomas really likes the new playoff format, which is modeled after what they do in the college baseball tournament.

“I love the new format,” Thomas said. “I come from coaching at BYU and the new format is just like the College World Series. The only exception is the play-in game, but the regional, super regional and eight-team bracket is just like the College World Series.”

Thomas was pleased with how the Golden Eagles came out of the gate fast to take control of the game.

“I thought overall, it went pretty well,” Thomas said. “Jackson (Hollingshaus) threw strikes to begin with and came out strong for us. We also found barrels, so we hit the ball hard today and made them work for everything. When that happens, good things usually happen. We’re excited (to move on).This group I feel is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the tournament.”

The top of the order produced big-time for Maple Mountain as Mike Bennett scored three times from his leadoff spot and had a double to open up the game, and Dax DeWitt had three hits and plated three for the Golden Eagles from the No. 3 spot.

Senior Caleb Chandler also had a strong game as he went 2-for-4 with two hits, including a double and two RBI. Cooper Seamons also added a double for the Golden Eagles.

Maple Mountain scored in four of the six innings it sent batters to the plate and moved out to a 9-0 lead at the end of fourth inning.

But the Bulldogs showed some bite as they scored four runs thanks to a 3-run blast by designated hitter Isaac Tucker, who also had a double in the game.

Bulldog leadoff hitter Kampton Fuller also had a solid game going 2-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI. Cole Frazier had a double for Provo plating one run and he also scored on Tucker’s roundtripper.

But Maple Mountain reasserted total control in the sixth inning. Freshman A.J. Thomas came off the bench and had a 2-run homerun as Maple Mountain tacked on three more runs. Then in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs went quietly as Bennett Averett finished off the game.

In other 5A action involving local teams, No. 18 seed Payson downed No. 31 seed Mountain View and now will move on to play No. 15 seed Brighton. Meanwhile, No. 19 seed Springville bested No. 30 seed Hillcrest 8-0 to win the right to take on No. 14 Viewmont.

The top eight seeds will get byes to the super regional but several area teams were seeded nine through 16 and will now host best-of-three series starting today.

No. 9 seed Orem will host No. 24 seed Box Elder, No. 12 seed Salem Hills hosts No. 21 seed Northridge, while No. 13 Wasatch will be at home to take on No. 20 Tooele.

All these games will be at 1 p.m. today with the second game in each series to be played at 1 p.m. on Monday with a third game to follow immediately after, if necessary.

Provo 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 – 4 6 2

Maple Mountain 2 2 0 5 0 3 X – 12 12 3

WP-Hollinghaus LP-Gingras 2B-Tucker (P), Frazier (P), Fuller (P), Chandler (MM), Seamons (MM), Bennett (MM), Hollingshaus (MM) HR-Hollingshaus (MM), Thomas (MM).

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