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Prep baseball: 5A, 4A tourneys have regional feel

Published May 21, 2012 1:09 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The names should surprise no one: Bingham. American Fork. Jordan. Alta.

It's a regular South Valley powerhouse powwow in the Class 5A baseball tournament ­— one that will resume Tuesday at Salt Lake Community College, a day after one-loss bracket games. Expect big things from some programs that know each other very well, and some that have axes to grind.

No one has more drive than American Fork, which watched its championship dreams washed away by Bingham last season in the title game.

"Last year was last year, and our kids get that," American Fork coach Jarod Ingersol says. "But they are very motivated. Against Davis, we got down a run, but our guys showed some resilience."

One thing both Region 4 teams, Bingham and American Fork, feature is ace pitching. The Miners and Cavemen held their tournament opponents to six combined runs through two rounds. Bingham boasts Brady Lail and Connor Williams, two Pac-12 prospects; senior BYU signee Blake Brailsford leads American Fork's rotation.

Jordan and Alta also have some arms, but their performances in the tournament have been defined by their bats. The Region 3 powers have combined for 54 runs in the first two rounds, and four players have hit home runs.

Other teams to watch in the one-loss bracket include Davis, which boasts ace Zac Fuller, and Taylorsville, which will count on the dynamic Carroll twins.

The Class 4A tournament has a northern flavor.

Mountain Crest and Sky View have emerged as contenders, while neighbors Skyline and Murray are knocking on the door for a title. The effect of realignment is still taking shape, but Sky View coach Brady Pond knows the northern contenders are for real after a whole season of beating each other up.

"I think there's a lot of great coaches up here, and kids are pretty competitive in Cache Valley with those schools being so close together," he says. "I think our region matches up well with others in the state."

Sky View is feeling good about its chances behind feared hitter Jason Oliverson and pitcher Mitch Berryhill. Murray, perhaps the surprise of the season, must contend with the Bobcats on Tuesday at Kearns, and its retooled lineup is looking for some further success.

Skyline versus Mountain Crest could be one of the better games this year. The Eagles have a deep pitching rotation and slugger Luke Myers, while the seasoned Mustangs have gotten hot behind leader Trace Hansen.

A number of southern teams will still be looking to make noise despite being in the one-loss bracket. Look for Maple Mountain, Salem Hills or Springville to make an under-the-radar run. —

5A baseball

At SLCC

Monday, one-loss bracket

11 a.m. • Taylorsville vs. Kearns

1:30 p.m. • Copper Hills vs. Lone Peak

4:30 p.m. • Viewmont vs. Syracuse

7 p.m. • Davis vs. Riverton

Tuesday, winners' bracket

4:30 p.m. • Amer. Fork vs. Jordan

7 p.m. • Bingham vs. Alta

4A baseball

At Kearns High School

Monday, one-loss bracket

11 a.m. • Woods Cross vs. Olympus

1:30 p.m. • Maple Mountain vs. Bountiful

4:30 p.m. • Springville vs. Timpanogos

7 p.m. • Salem Hills vs. Provo

Tuesday, winners' bracket

4:30 p.m. • Mountain Crest vs. Skyline

7 p.m. • Sky View vs. Murray