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Baseball/softball roundup: American Fork baseball beats Riverton to reach 6A title game

By Brian E. Preece - Herald correspondent | May 25, 2023

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

American Fork players watch the action during the 6A playoff game against Westlake at UCCU Ballpark in Orem on Monday, May 22, 2023.

American Fork got a bit of revenge as the Cavemen knocked off the defending 6A state champions Riverton in the semifinals, 13-3, at UCCU Ballpark in Orem Thursday in the 6A state baseball playoffs.

Now American Fork is two games away from winning its second state title in three years.

Last season, Riverton (21-8) defeated American Fork (19-11) in the championship series to win its first ever state final. It also denied a chance for brothers Jarod Ingersoll (who coaches American Fork) and Jason (who is the skipper at Lehi) to lead their teams to respective state titles in 5A and 6A on the same day.

As of Thursday, the two coaches could actually get it done as both teams were alive in the playoffs.

American Fork started off strong, scoring three runs in the first inning followed by another three in the second.

Riverton trimmed the American Fork lead to 6-2 by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third, but American Fork broke out with four more runs in the top of the fourth inning to take complete control of the game.

Sophomore CJ Mascaro was one of the Cavemen heroes as he pitched a complete game going six innings as his team won by the 10-run mercy rule after six innings. Mascaro did walk four Silverwolf batters while striking out two, but the Cavemen had more than enough offense to go along with flawless no error game on defense to end Riverton’s season.

Mascaro also shined offensively as he went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Meanwhile, Dax Watts was a monster at the plate going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Further offensive backup came from Ryder Robinson (2-for-4 with three runs scored), Cooper Jones (2-for-4 with two RBI’s) and Josh Rojas (3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored). All total, the Cavemen pounded out 17 hits in a very impressive performance.

But that wasn’t all as Davin Pace had a triple to go along with an RBI and run scored while Jett Walker added a run scored and an RBI in a 2-for-3 performance.

At press time American Fork’s Region 4 rival and top seed Skyridge was leading Mountain Ridge 9-5 after five complete innings.

The championship series will be played at UCCU Ballpark in Orem with the first game being Friday at 4:30 p.m. The second game of the series is set for 11 a.m. Saturday with the third game, if necessary to start at 4:30 p.m.

Timpanogos holds on to beat Salem Hills in 5A semfinals

In a well-played, well-pitched contest Thursday afternoon at BYU’s Larry H. Miller Field, Timpanogos (27-5) eliminated Salem Hills (26-6) by a 2-0 score.

Billy Bird went the distance on the hill to get the win for the Timberwolves. Bird was dominant as he struck out eight Skyhawk hitters with three walks and yielded just two hits in the contest.

Supplying the offense for the Timberwolves were Luke Livingston and Brighton Tate with one RBI each, while runs were scored by Tate MacGillivray and Collin Morgan. MacGillivray also swiped a base to get into scoring position.

Salem Hills got solid pitching performances from Aiden Haskell who went five innings yielding just two runs while Chase DeGraffenreid came in to relief and pitched two scoreless frames.

Timpanogos Kim Nelson won his 475th game as the head coach of Timpanogos against 228 losses. Nelson has a chance to earn his ninth state championship as skipper as he has won eight total, six titles with Timpanogos and another two at American Fork.

He is the only head coach Timpanogos has ever had in its history and with a series win against either Lehi or Viewmont, he will be just one short of former Pleasant Grove and Cottonwood head coach Jon Hoover with ten titles, six of which were at Pleasant Grove while another four at Cottonwood. Bingham’s Bailey Santisteven won a state record 11 state titles, all before 1954.

Nelson also coached Jarod and Jason Ingersoll during his tenure at American Fork.

Timpanogos will square off with the Lehi vs. Viewmont winner at 7 p.m. on Friday at the UCCU Ballpark in Orem. The second game of the best-of-three series will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, and if necessary, the third game will be at 7 p.m.

At press time Lehi was leading Viewmont 8-3 after six complete innings.

Spanish Fork softball starts 5A championship with defensive win

Both the Spanish Fork and Bountiful softball teams have great pitchers and excellent defenses, so it wasn’t a surprise when Game 1 of the best-of-three 5A championship at Gail Miller Field in Provo was a low-scoring affair.

But when you have a hurler like Don senior Avery Sapp, you have to like your chances.

Spanish Fork took an early one-run lead and then rode Sapp’s arm and some big stops to hang on for the 1-0 victory.

Starting off with a win means the Redhawks will have to beat the Dons twice to snatch the title away, which would be a tall order for any team.

Game 2 is scheduled to take place at Gail Miller Field in Provo on Friday at 1:30 p.m., with the second game taking place after that, if it became necessary.


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