4A baseball: Maple Mountain dumps Timpanogos
Kearns • Jake Mafi made a promise he wasn't going to break.
Maple Mountain's right fielder had come up short on a ball short during the second inning Tuesday.
He grabbed Golden Eagles ace Arik Mack in the dugout and told the left-handed pitcher nothing was going to get by him.
And nothing did.
A Timpanogos looping fly ball dared to land in play with runners on the corners in the third inning, but the sprinting Mafi made good on his promise and caught it on a dead sprint to end the inning.
Mafi was mobbed by teammates as he retired to the bench. It was the defensive play of the game and the difference for Mack.
"That was great," Mack said. "We had so much energy that if he didn't make that catch, I don't know if we could have gotten it back."
Maple Mountain rode the momentum past Timpanogos 7-1 in a Class 4A winners bracket semifinal.
Mack delivered six strikeouts on the mount, and he got some breathing room in the fifth inning.
Jonah Flinders led off with a single before Kaden Miner slapped a double. Mack helped his cause with a stand-up double to drive in two runs.
"He's fantastic," Golden Eagles catcher Ivan Brooks said. "That's the kind of player he is. He gets it done because he is a worker."
With Kaden Poulson drawing a walk, the dagger to the Timberwolves came from Jake Mafi's brother Nik. The junior Mafi exploded on a first-pitch fastball and drove it over the left-center wall and into the dark night. His teammates waited for him at the plate, greeting him with slaps and high-fives.
"It's good he hit the homer," Brooks said with a laugh. "He's been battling a hurt ankle. I guess it's better for him to trot than run."