Payson drowns Mountain View in opening game of 5A baseball playoffs | High school baseball
At the bottom of the fourth inning of Payson’s home playoff game with Mountain View, the sprinklers went into left field and caused a delay.
That’s the one thing that went wrong for the Lions, who pounced on the visitors early and took a 10-0 win over the Mercy rule on Friday.
“We don’t know how or why the sprinklers went off,” said Braxton Monroe of Payson. “I have never seen sprinklers go off on this field in my four years here.”
Monroe was also successful, 2 for 3 at plate and led in three runs, including a two-run single down the fifth to end the game via the ten-point rule.
The win ends a six-game losing streak and sends the Lions to the next round of the 5A tournament, a best-of-three set with No.13 seed Orem, starting Saturday.
The No. 20 seed Payson (9-17) struck in the first inning, placing six runs on six hits. Jarrett Harmon had a pair of points with a single down the middle and teammates Joel Torres, Mason Alvey and Carter Ewell also collected points as the Lions took a 6-0 lead.
“For all of our guys this was their first experience of the state tournament,” said Payson coach Hadley Thorpe. “It was fun to go out and show everyone what we can do on the plate. We had a really good start from our pitcher (Alvey) and we thought six points would be enough with the way our guys were throwing the ball. It was nice to go out and jump on it early and get that six point spot in the first.
Mountain View freshman Elian Tortoledo came in second and kept the Lions scoreless for three innings, but the Payson Bats woke up in sixth with two strikeouts. Harmon, Alvey and Cater Craghead all got on base and Ewell led home two with a brace for an 8-0 lead. Two batters later, Monroe sent one pitch to the left center and scored two more for the 10-0 victory.
Monroe was 34-8 as a wrestler in the 220-pound weight class for the 2021 Payson State Champions and said he’s used to being under pressure.
“A lot of that is because the wrestling is under the light, you know?” he said. “There was a lot of pressure on me at the state tournament. I was just trying to play ball today.
Thorpe was grateful for having been fortunate enough to see his team perform well in the state playoffs.
“The other years we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be here at the state tournament,” he said. “The new RPI system, it’s going to be nice to have for a team like us. I know we have potential, but maybe we haven’t played up to it during the regular season.
Even though there was a 10 minute delay when the sprinkler system decided to water the left field.
“We were in a panic,” Thorpe said, laughing. “I was over there digging up close for the cut. I couldn’t find it. Luckily, someone from administration was here and got their hands on someone who could turn them off. It was a little late rain for finally a good day of baseball.
Harmon, Alvey and Cam Ford added several hits for Payson and Alvey struck out four innings of work in four, combining with Zack Stilson for the one-shot shutout.
Kadence Johnson had the only hit for No.25 Mountain View (6-20) with a brace in the fourth inning.