4A baseball: Salem Hills edges Westlake in pitchers' dual
Salem • Westlake's Jake Mayer simply was masterful Wednesday afternoon.
All things considered, he pitched the best game of his life. He threw a two-hitter against a team that sports a team batting average of .360.
But there's no room for error against top-ranked Salem Hills when Colton Hill is on the mound.
Salem Hills scored two unearned runs in the first inning then held on for a 2-0 win over the Thunder in a Class 4A state baseball quarterfinal.
"I can't be more pleased with our guys," Salem Hills coach Scott Haney said. "We have a goal to win five in a row, and now we've got two. Colton just knows how to pitch. He trusts our defense, and he has the ability to get a strikeout, which is huge in some situations. He's just a competitive kid."
The Skyhawks used a two-out rally to score the only runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Hill reached base on an error, and Luke Haney followed with a single. Matt Whiting singled in one run, and Salem Hills added one more after a Westlake error.
The focus then turned to the pitcher's mound, where both pitchers dominated.
Westlake threatened in the second when Daniel Nugent led off with a triple, but Hill wiggled off the hook. He got Brycson Christensen to hit a shallow fly ball to left that wasn't deep enough to score Nugent.
After Hill walked the next two batters to load the bases, he enticed Zach Tyson to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Mayer, who signed with Utah Valley University, struck out seven and didn't allow a hit after the first inning.
"It's always fun to go up against one of the state's best pitchers," Hill said about Mayer. "I feel for him. I've been on the same end he's on right now, but at the same time, someone's got to come out on top. When you are in a pitching dual like that, you have to be on the top of your game because you're not going to get a lot of run support."
Hill fanned six and allowed just four hits.
The Skyhawks will play at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kearns High School, while Westlake will try to stay alive at 7 p.m. Monday.
At Kearns High School
4:30 p.m. • Mountain View vs. Salem Hills
7 p.m. • Timpanogos vs. Maple Mountaom
11 a.m. • Roy vs. Murray
1:30 p.m. • Logan vs. Woods Cross
4:30 p.m. • Mtn. Crest vs Cyprus
7 p.m. • Sky View vs. Westlake