OREM — Riley Gates was his usual dominant self and Canyon View had no answer for the hard-throwing left-hander as the Snow Canyon Warriors beat the Falcons 5-0 in the quarterfinals of state at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Gates fanned 11 batters and allowed just two hits as the Warriors beat their region rivals and will advance to face another region rival, Desert Hills, Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the 3A State Tournament’s semifinals.
“Riley was good, there’s no doubt about it,” SC coach Reed Secrist said. “His velocity was good, but what I was impressed with was his breaking ball. That’s no high school curve. That’s big time.”
Gates gave up just two hits, one of them an infield single. He was also backed by some rock-solid defense.
“They were making plays behind Riley today,” (Tyler) Wardell made a couple of spectacular plays, including a diving catch. He had some real web gems.”
The Warriors jumped out early on Canyon View sophomore ace Zack Brinkerhoff. Gates and sophomore catcher Brady Sargent each knocked in runs to spot the Warriors a 3-0 lead. Brendan Truman added an RBI in the fourth inning and tacked on one more to secure the win.
“I feel like we are starting to really put it together right now,” Secrist said. “I like our approach at the plate and I like the way we’re swinging it.”
After a mid-season slump, Sargent is also starting to hit the ball hard. He had a pair of hits to go with Gates’ three base knocks.
“We’ve been working on some things with him,” Secrist said. “It’s so great when a player can take what he’s learned and use it in the games. hope he can keep it up.”
The 17-8 Warriors beat Canyon View two out of three times this season. Now they’ll take on 20-5 Desert Hills a team that has beaten them twice.
“Everyone says it’s hard to beat a good team three times in one season, but it happens,” Secrist said. “We have several seniors that have played in state championships, so hopefully our experience will give us an edge.”
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