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5A baseball: Lone Peak advances to 5A title game after 4-3 win over American Fork

Published May 26, 2016 10:32 pm

5A baseball • Knights avenge regular-season losses.
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Orem • Lone Peak ignited for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a one-run deficit and clinch a spot in the Class 5A state championship with a 4-3 win over American Fork, which then beat Cottonwood to set up a championship rematch on Friday.

The Class 5A winners' bracket semifinal was essentially a glorified Region 4 showdown, and if the regular season was any indication, the seeding was deceptive.

Lone Peak claimed the luxury of batting in the bottom after edging American Fork by one game in league play, but the Cavemen actually swept the regular-season series.

"In my seven years as the coach, it's by far the most special win that I've been a part of," said Lone Peak coach Matthew Bezzant at Brent Brown Ballpark.

The Cavemen (21-8) threatened in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with three consecutive singles before a groundout at second base preserved the Knights' victory.

"I just said, 'Hey, you know what guys, right now we have the lead,' " Bezzant said regarding the message was to his players in the midst of the seventh inning. "We need to worry about the guy at second base, that's the tying run. Find a way to get outs — you've done it all game."

Lone Peak (21-7) captured an early one-run advantage in the second before American Fork pitcher Trell Morse an RBI single in the the fourth to tie things at 1.

After a rare overturned call at first base in the top of the fifth, which reversed an original call of "safe" to an out, American Fork's bats awakened with three consecutive triples to grab its first lead of the game, 2-1.

"I had confidence in my defense. I knew if I threw strikes, my defense would make plays behind me," Lone Peak pitcher Payton Freeman said.

In the sixth, Lone Peak pulled even at 2 on a wild pitch, which forced American Fork to call to the bullpen and insert Mick Madsen, but consecutive RBIs from Freeman — who pitched a complete game on the mound — and Payton Barney put the Knights ahead for good.

"Intensity," Bezzant said regarding the difference between Thursday and the regular-season bouts. "Obviously they're our rival. We know they're good. During the season we didn't match up with them intensity-wise and that's why they beat us."

The championship game on Friday at 1:30 p.m. will be another rivalry matchup. For the Cavemen to capture this first title since 2011-12, they'll need to beat the Knights, gunning for their first championship since 2009-10, twice.


Twitter: @trevorphibbs —

Class 5A baseball

R Lone Peak avenges regular-season sweep against American Fork to clinch appearance in the title game.

• American Fork keeps playoff chances alive with a win over Cottonwood in an elimination game.

• Lone Peak and American Fork will have a rematch in the Class 5A championship game at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.




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