Kearns • With a weak ground ball, Skyline won its first state title in school history.
With fast legs‚ Bryce Barr permanently etched himself into Eagle lore.
His infield single, made secure when the baseball bounced off the tip of Trent Oviatt's glove, gave Skyline an 8-7 win over Timpanogos in 10 innings and the Class 4A baseball title at Kearns High on Friday.
Barr's teammates mobbed him at first chance. It was a fitting ending to an instant classic, a game with more ups and downs than a roller coaster.
"On that last pitch, I was just trying to fight it off," Barr said. "Because it was an 0-2 count. But when I hit the grounder and saw him bobble it, I just hustled down the line."
Both teams dominated at different times. Both teams, more than once, looked like they would lose a heartbreaker. A game that lasted more than three hours featured controversy, a combined 28 hits, a seven pitchers and clutch hitting from both sides.
Ultimately, the Eagles had better pitching, by a slim margin. Ace Lars Lofgren, throwing on short rest, lasted seven innings, surrendering 17 hits and all seven Timpanogos runs. But Bridger Berrett proved huge, pitching three scoreless innings and frustrating the Timberwolves by making every key pitch.
Josh Stephens sent the game to extra innings with a sharp single to right field that scored a run in the bottom of the seventh. It was just the second time the Eagles pulled even. Stephens went 3-of-4 from the plate and registered 10 put-outs.
Jordan Hall went 2-of-4 with a pair of RBIs, and Lofgren went 2-of-4 also with another run batted in. A fifth seed to begin the tournament, the Timberwolves are left to play a game of what if. They led most of the game. They registered 21 hits and appeared well on their way to winning a title that would've been considered unlikely at the beginning of the tournament.
The Eagles never believed they would lose, despite being pounded in the first game 12-1.
"I can't believe the effort these guys gave," Skyline coach Erik Hansen said. "After the early game, after falling down 4-0, I can't believe the effort. I don't know if I ever felt we were going to lose. I had my doubts, but our team was so resilient today."