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(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Cottonwood pitcher Tevita Gerber fires a pitch during 5A playoff baseball game against Bingham at Cottonwood High School in Murray, Utah Tuesday, May 13, 2014.
Prep baseball: Tait’s pitching helps Bingham top Cottonwood
5A baseball » Bingham steals 3-0 win at Cottonwood.
First Published May 13 2014 09:52 pm • Last Updated May 13 2014 11:16 pm

Cottonwood Heights • For the pitcher who has thrown his best stuff all afternoon, a one-run lead seems like all he needs. But when the bases are loaded with two outs, it looks quite a bit slimmer.

Bingham ace Trevor Tait had been dominant up until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Cottonwood seemed like it would finally break through his shutout effort. But a quick inning-ending double play ended the threat, and was the last nervous moment the Miners had all day with a two-run rally in the next frame.

At a glance

Class 5A baseball

First round - Tuesday

» Copper Hills 10, Hillcrest 0

» Viewmont 5, Pl. Grove 4

» Layton 4, Riverton 2

» Bingham 3, Cottonwood 0

» Lone Peak 5, Davis 2

» Taylorsville 5, Brighton 3

» Jordan 7, Hunter 0

» Fremont 3, Am. Fork 2

Winners’ bracketquarterfinals - Wednesday

All games at 4 p.m.

» Viewmont at Copper Hills

» Bingham at Layton

» Lone Peak at Taylorsville

» Fremont at Jordan

4A baseball

First round - Tuesday

» Murray 10, Woods Cross 0

» Spanish Fork 7, Bonneville 0

» Mountain Crest 1, Wasatch 0

» Mountain View 6, Kearns 2

» Salem Hills 13, Box Elder 9

» Bountiful 7, Timpanogos 3

» Skyline 4, Cyprus 3

» Maple Mountain 11, Logan 9

Winners’ bracket quarterfinals - Wednesday

All games at 4 p.m.

» Murray at Spanish Fork

» Mountain View at Mountain Crest

» Salem Hills at Bountiful

» Maple Mountain at Skyline

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"I was just thinking pound the glove, and let me make my defense make the play," Tait said. "I know they’ve got my back."

Defending 5A champ Bingham stole a 3-0 win on the Colts’ home field in the first round of the state playoffs. Tait, a senior, allowed only two hits on Tuesday afternoon, striking out seven in a complete game effort.

Coach Joey Sato said he never thought once of pulling Tait off the mound, even in the most tense scenarios as the Colts teased from third. The Miners managed to tag one Cottonwood runner out on the way home after a pass ball in the fifth.

The bases-loaded sixth had the bench sweating a bit, Sato acknowledged, but he wasn’t going to go to the bullpen.

"He’s pitched for us in a lot of bad luck, when the defense didn’t make a play behind him or we didn’t give him runs to work with," Sato said. "The whole year, he’s competed his butt off for us. He’s our guy."

Bingham kicked off the game with a run, as Kade Cloward scored on a double by Sean Keating. The 1-0 margin stood until the seventh, when three straight bunts yielded one run, and Keating had another RBI on a single for insurance.

It was a tough reward for Cottonwood starter Tevita Gerber, who held Bingham to a run on four hits in just over five innings. Though the Colts had a decent day on the mound, their bats did them no favors.

"I think we just tried to do too much," coach Jason Crawford said. "[Trait] was throwing strikes and expanding the strike zone when he needed to. Our guys didn’t put a good swing on the ball when we needed to, and that’s baseball."

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story continues below

Bingham next takes on Layton in the winners’ bracket, while Cottonwood faces Riverton in the one-loss bracket.

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