No. 8 hitter comes up big for Murray
Murray senior Cody Swensen has had many roles in his final season as a Spartan. He has been a starter, a pinch hitter and a bench player. After Murray's 5-3 win over Logan in the first round of the class 4A playoffs, Swensen can add hero to that list.
Swensen, who was hitting eighth in the lineup, was 0-for-2 in the game when he approached the plate with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Murray had managed to get two runners on base for Swensen, but he quickly found himself behind in the count. He stayed calm and drilled a 2-2 pitch down the left-field line for a double. Both base runners scored to give the Spartans the lead, and they held that lead for good.
"I was just looking at the pitcher thinking, 'I can beat this guy,'" Swensen said. "I knew I had to do whatever it took to win the game, and I knew that it was now or never. It's really satisfying to finally make a huge difference."
Senior pitcher McKade Jangard used the momentum created by Swensen's clutch hit to shut down Logan in the top of the seventh inning. Murray trailed 3-1 when Jangard entered the game with one out in the fourth inning, but he allowed just two hits the rest of the way to keep the Grizzlies from crossing the plate again.
Murray coach Marce Wilson said the game was just as close as he thought it would be.
"These teams from Cache County have such competitive kids," Wilson said. "I knew they had competitors, and I knew they had good pitching, which is what scared me coming in. We were fortunate to come away with the win."
Skyline 3, Box Elder 2 • Senior pitcher Bridger Berrett earned his sixth win of the season to lead Skyline to victory. Senior first baseman Mike Staes doubled for the Eagles.
Salem Hills 8, Clearfield 1 • Salem Hills used a seven run fourth inning to pull away from Clearfield in Tuesday's first round matchup. Junior pitcher Colton Hill threw a one-hitter and smacked a triple for Salem Hills.
Woods Cross 7, Provo 6 • The Wildcats trailed 6-2 at the end of five innings, but they stormed back to tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Woods Cross won it in walk-off fashion with a run in the seventh inning. The Wildcats will now host Murray in the next round.
Sky View 4, Westlake 2 • Sky View scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead, and the Bobcats led the rest of the way. Senior left fielder Jason Oliverson went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored in the Bobcats' victory.
Mountain Crest 2, Olympus 0 • Top-seeded Mountain Crest had its hands full with Olympus, but managed to earn the shutout, and the win. The Mustangs will now square off against Salem Hills.
Springville 11, Bountiful 7 • Springville had scored 10 runs or fewer in 10 straight games, but it got the bats rolling against Bountiful to end that streak. Springville now faces Skyline in the second round of the state tournament.
Maple Mountain 2, Timpanogos 0 • Sophomore outfielder Nik Mafi crushed a mammoth home run to help Maple Mountain earn the first round victory. Sky View awaits the Golden Eagles in Round 2.
Wednesday, all games at 4 p.m.
• Murray at Woods Cross
• Springville at Skyline
• Sky View at Maple Mountain
• Salem Hills at Mountain Crest
• Olympus at Clearfield
• Box Elder at Bountiful
• Timpanogos at Westlake
• Provo at Logan