American Fork • What looked to be one of the American Fork baseball team's worst moments of the season actually was its best.
Great teams have a way of making anything look good.
American Fork blew two bunt coverages, which allowed Riverton to tie the game and load the bases during the fifth inning of Monday's game.
So what did the Cavemen do?
Slammed the door on the game.
American Fork escaped a potentially damaging inning and used that momentum to pull away from Riverton for an 8-3 win.
"That was huge for him [pitcher Sean Hardman] to keep his composure," American Fork coach Jarod Ingersoll said. "That says a lot about how good he is. This is a huge win for us. We know everything goes through Riverton. They're a good team from top to bottom. This was good for us to see where we're at."
The Cavemen took a 3-2 lead to the fifth inning when Riverton's Tanner Draper led off the inning with a double. B.J. Newman tried to bunt the runner to third, but to his surprise, the Cavemen over-pursued the bunt leaving both runners safe. Trevor Peterson followed with an RBI single that tied the game. And when Jimi Dixon laid down a bunt but the Cavemen made another error, the bases were loaded with no outs.
Hardman was unfazed. He went through the heart of Riverton's order without allowing another run. Jared White hit a ground ball that turned into a force out a home. Hardman then struck out Jared Barton and retired Cam Gust on a ground ball.
It was all the Cavemen needed because Emmett Green doubled and scored in the fifth, and Koy Dibb singled in a run and Zach Haws doubled in two more to put the game away in the sixth inning.
The win was crucial for American Fork, which now is tied with Riverton at 10-3 at the top of Region 4. The two teams play again Tuesday and will conclude region play with their final game Wednesday.