HIGHLAND — The Lone Peak baseball team trailed Herriman for five innings in Tuesday’s Region 4 contest, but the Knights rallied to tie the game and then moved ahead in the bottom of the sixth to earn the 8-5 victory.
The Mustangs got the early advantage with two runs in the top of the second inning. The Knights got one in the bottom half, but the teams were scoreless in the third and fourth.
Herriman warmed up in the top of the fifth against starter R.J. Hazen and managed to string together some hits to come up with three runs and take a 5-1 lead.
Up to this point, Lone Peak’s batters had struggled against lefty Tiger Leibrand, but the Knights were able to break through in the bottom half of the inning.
Right fielder Tyler Thompson drew a leadoff walk and advanced on a center-field single by center fielder Chandler Goeckeritz. First baseman Tate Hansen drove Thompson across with a double down the left-field line.
Left fielder Brooks Goeckeritz then launched a base hit into center which plated both his brother and Hansen. He advanced to third on a single by second baseman Keenan Kelshaw, and tied the game at 5-apiece on a left-field sacrifice fly from catcher Nick Larsen.
The Mustangs made back-to-bat hits to open the sixth, but reliever Caden Santiago then got three straight outs with the help of his defense.
The top of the Lone Peak order was up in the bottom half and took advantage of the opportunities presented. Designated hitter Seth Corry singled to center-right and went to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt from Thompson.
Chandler Goeckeritz sent him home with a double to the wall in the center-right gap, then trotted across himself when Hansen smashed the ball over the left-center fence to push the Knights ahead 8-5.
That brought Matt Lee to the mound in the top of the seventh to try to close out the contest. He hit the first batter and gave up a double to put two in scoring position with no outs.
However, he fanned the next batter. The one after that grounded out to short and the fielders were able to hold the runners where they were. The next man loaded the bags, but Lee got the last batter to pop up to shortstop Trent Whitaker to secure the win.
Lone Peak coach Matt Bezzant gave Leibrand credit for holding his hitters for so long. “He’s crafty. He’s a three-year starter and was their No. 1 last year,” he said. “He’s not going to blow away anybody, but he takes advantage if you don’t approach well.”
The coach was most pleased with the intensity his players showed on both sides of the bases during the rallies.
“I think it was hard to get in the right mindset today, playing during spring break,” he said. “I think we came out a little lethargic, but once we figured out this was a real game and no one was going to hand it to us, the boys responded well.”
Bezzant said this game was typical of how his team has performed so far this season in that different players stepped up to get the job done.
“Thompson was 0-0 at the plate but got on base three times and set up the game-winning run with his sac bunt,” the coach said. “He wasn’t selfish and found ways to get on base. To score you have to have runners.”
He was also happy with his relievers. “They both got into some trouble but the fielders backed them up and they gave up no runs,” he said. “You can’t ask for any more than that.”
The Knights (8-2, 4-0) continue their series with the Mustangs (4-9, 1-6) Wednesday at 4 p.m.