South Jordan • It was the extra work that Spencer Estey did in the offseason that earned him the starting job in Bingham’s home opener against Juan Diego.
How the junior pitched the first inning set the tone for the Miners' 9-2 victory over the Soaring Eagle on Thursday.
Estey threw four innings, racking up four strikeouts, giving up only one walk and a run. He looked commanding on the mound, working a mid-80s fastball and a sweeping curveball.
"When you trust the guys to make plays, it is a lot easier to go out there and throw fastballs," Estey said. "I can trust them with anything. It means I don’t have to strike everybody out."
Chase Tavonatti hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the second. He connected with a mid-plate fastball and drove the 2-1 offering deep to left-center field.
"I was sprinting to first, rounding it. I had no idea that it was going to go over," Tavonatti said. "Good way to start the season."
Juan Diego fought back into the game in the fourth. With two runners on, Estey battled McKay Howard. Forcing the count to 3-1, Howard watched a passed ball advance the runners.
Estey stepped off the mound. He wiped his face with his sleeve and refocused on the catcher.
Folding back into his windup, he threw a changeup that Howard fouled off.
"You gotta take a deep breath and just regroup," Estey said. "I just remembered what I suppose to be doing and not overthink it."
He unloaded on a final fastball straight down the center for a called strike three to end the threat.
"That’s why he earned the right to start today," Tavonatti said. "He has worked so hard for these situations and can make any throw we need."
Junior Austin Florez retired the side in the seventh on 11 pitches to lock down the win.
"We wanted to come out strong and send a message that we’re ready to play," Tavonatti said. "I think we had a real good outing today."
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.