Maple Mountain’s Mason Green struck out 12 Spanish Fork batters in Thursday’s 8-4 Region 8 victory, and he wasn’t sure if it was a career high.
“I was just letting them hit it and threw it down the middle,” Green said.
He must be observing April Fool’s Day.
Nine batters reached base for Spanish Fork against Green, who worked 4 2/3 innings. But the senior was able to reach for a strikeout any time he really needed one to keep the Dons from getting a rally going.
“My fastball was working but I had a good curveball, too,” Green said. “I’ve put a lot of work into my pitching, so it was nice to see that showing up. It’s a confidence builder.”
The game was really decided in the fifth inning with Maple Mountain leading just 2-1. In the top of the fifth, Spanish Fork loaded the bases with two outs on a single by Brody Duvall and walks earned by Boston Bradford and Easton Romero. Reliever Cooper Littledike induced a fly ball from Blair Nielsen for the third out.
In the bottom of the fifth, Maple Mountain took advantage of four straight walks to push in a run for a 3-1 lead. Green hit a a sacrifice fly to add a run, Nolan Bird triple in pair of runs and RBI singles by Cole Rollins and Zach Johnson gave the Golden Eagles an 8-1 lead.
“Sometimes you just have to say, ‘OK, I’m not going to win the game with one swing,’” Maple Mountain coach Gary Miner said. “We just needed to get one base and don’t try to force the game. Sometimes I feel like we get ourselves out. To Mason’s credit, he threw wonderfully. He had to dig deep and he did it.
“On the offensive side, I feel like sometimes we’ve been so aggressive that we swing ourselves out of innings. We’re getting much better at just if they are going to walk us, say thank you and let the next guy have an at-bat. That was pretty evident today and that helps.”
Trailing 8-1, Spanish Fork started a two-out rally with an RBI double from Hunter Rasmussen and a two-run homer from Westin Coreless to close to 8-4, but Littledike finally got a ground out to end the game.
Maple Mountain (8-4 overall, 2-0 Region 8) got its second straight win against Spanish Fork, having beaten the Dons 7-5 on Tuesday.
“It was nice to see us have the patience and the fundamental of the game,” Miner said. “We went down to Dixie twice and went 1-1 and 1-3, so we always start slow. We’ve come back and we’ve been putting it together. We’ve been playing well.”
Bird was 2 for 2 and walked twice while Rollins had three of Maple Mountain’s eight hits.
Spanish Fork (6-6, 0-2) will host Wasatch on Monday and Maple Mountain takes on Provo in a home game.