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4A baseball: Orem rally puts Tigers one win from title

First Published      Last Updated May 26 2016 10:34 pm

4A baseball » Tigers advance to championship game.

Orem • Tied in the bottom of the seventh inning, Orem loaded the bases with two outs when Fisher Hermansen approached the plate, with his father and coach Carl watching on the third-base line.

When Fisher ripped a game-winning single in the Tigers' 7-6 win against Corner Canyon to clinch a spot in the Class 4A state championship, Carl gleamed with pride.

"That's my boy. I'm trying to stay in coach mode, but I'm a dad right now," Carl said as his voiced cracked at Brent Brown Ballpark on Thursday. "It doesn't get any better than that. To be able to coach your boy, and then have him come up with the big hit right there — good stuff, man. Every dad should have that feeling."



The Tigers (26-3) are the final team remaining in the winners' bracket, and will face Timpanogos in the championship at UVU on Friday at 11 a.m. Orem needs only one more win to clinch its first baseball title since 1996-97.

Timpanogos, which Orem swept in the regular season, staged its own seventh-inning comeback to eliminate the Chargers in the losers' bracket semifinals directly after the Tigers' win. The Timberwolves' last championship was in 2007-08.

"It puts us in a good position, I'll tell you that. Got our ace on the mound. It's nice," Fisher said.

Paxton Schultz is that ace Fisher mentioned, and the hard-throwing right-hander earned his 11th win of the season after relieving Parker Wollaston (6 1⁄3 innings, six hits, three strikeouts) in the top of the seventh after Corner Canyon pulled even at 4.

After relinquishing their lead for the first time in the sixth, the Chargers (19-9) reclaimed the advantage, 6-4, behind six consecutive singles in the seventh.

"Nothing needed to be said," Carl said regarding the conversation in the middle of the seventh. "I've got nine seniors over there. They've been working their butts off for a long time. They love each other; they pick each other up, and they keep playing. They're not going to quit on each other. No way."

The Tigers, known for their resolve this season, responded with an RBI single by Jake Stayner to pull within one run. With the bases loaded and two outs, Carl Hermansen inserted Tyler Brandner in to pinch-hit. The junior evened the score at 6 apiece with a walk.

"We were taking until we get a strike the whole seventh inning. We were going to make him throw strikes to get baserunners," Carl said. "It's real hard, you pull a kid out there, but Brandner, when we played these guys the first game, he had a walk-off. He's got a smaller zone and he puts the ball in play. Just kind of a gut [feeling]."

Fisher, behind in the count with two strikes, provided the heroics in the following at-bat.

"I was in the zone. I like situations like that," said Fisher. … "We're used to grinding out wins, that's just the way we play. We don't really get down on ourselves. I think we're just used to being in situations like that."

tphibbs@sltrib.com

Twitter: @trevorphibbs

 

AT A GLANCE

Class 4A baseball

Orem scores three runs in the bottom of the seventh to avoid an upset against Corner Canyon.

» Timpanogos stages its own seventh-inning comeback to eliminate the Chargers.

» Orem and Timpanogos will compete for the Class 4A state title at 11 a.m. on Friday at UVU.


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