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4A baseball: Hamilton homer helps Timpanogos down Spanish Fork, repeat as state champs

Published May 26, 2017 11:20 pm

4A baseball • Home run by Hamilton is the difference.
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Orem • A towering home run in the fifth inning turned out to be the difference as Timpanogos survived Spanish Fork 9-7 to earn its second consecutive Class 4A baseball state championship Friday afternoon at UVU's Brent Brown Ballpark.

The teams kept trading the lead until the fifth inning, when Timpanogos senior center fielder Casey Hamilton stepped to the plate in a tied game.

He blasted a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a two-run homer and the Timberwolves' final lead of the season. It was his only home run this season.

"I got my pitch and I hit it," said Hamilton, who added that he tried to keep from smiling as he was running around the bases.

"This is the kind of moment you dream about as a little kid playing in the back yard. For my last at-bat to be a game-winning home run is a great way to end my high school career."

Senior reliever Cal Beardsley managed to prevent the Dons from scoring again with the help of his defense, which had some uncharacteristically shaky moments earlier in the contest.

"This was earned," Timberwolves coach Kim Nelson said. "Even when you have good players, and we do, they still had to do the work."

At first it looked like the Dons might be able to force a second, winner-take-all game in the double-elimination tournament. Starter Cy Neilson held the Timberwolves scoreless in the first couple of innings and Spanish Fork built a 4-0 advantage.

But Timpanogos roared back in the bottom of the third with five runs to take the lead.

The Dons tied the game in the top of the fourth only to see the Timberwolves move out in front again in the bottom half. Spanish Fork drew even once more in the top of the fifth at 7, which set up Hamilton's homer.

"This victory goes back to last year," Hamilton said. "The guys who returned from that team stepped it up big."

Senior catcher Jake Brooksby also gave Timpanogos an offensive lift, going 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Senior shortstop Tyler Cornish wrapped up his prep career with a 2-for-4 effort and two runs scored.

Josh Edmonds also scored twice.

"When I think of this team, I'll remember a one-loss season and a state championship," Nelson said. "The challenge these last four or five weeks was to continue to do something to make progression as a team. I think we proved today that we did." —

Timpanogos 9, Spanish Fork 7

R Casey Hamilton's two-run home run in the fifth inning provides the margin of victory.

• The Timberwolves finish the season at 28-1, with their only defeat coming at the hands of a team from Nevada on March 17.

• It is the sixth baseball championship overall for the Timberwolves but the eighth in 33 years for coach Kim Nelson.






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