SOUTH JORDAN — Two games in and two teams have been upset in the 4A state baseball tournament championship rounds.
After No. 5 Mountain Crest took down No. 4 Stansbury to launch the bracket, No. 9 Bear River took down the top dogs, downing No. 1 Desert Hills in extra innings.
The Bears, who knocked out Crimson Cliffs over the weekend, stunned another Region 9 squad and sent the Thunder to the loser’s bracket.
Bear River starter Derek Dean shut down the Thunder lineup to start the game while the offense built out a modest lead with timely hitting. After carrying a 2-0 lead through the fifth inning, all hell broke loose. The Bears got an insurance run in the sixth before Desert Hills’ bats awoke.
Reggie Newby, who ended Dean’s perfect game bid in the fifth, knotted the game with a two-RBI double in the bottom of the sixth after Jake Bean singled to start the frame and Luke Orchard walked.
The Thunder took their first lead after Chandler Reber grounded out to third a few batters later, driving in Payton Gubler. Suddenly, after trailing the entire game, Desert Hills was within three outs of walking away with a win.
It wasn’t meant to be in regulation, however.
Hunter Harrow started the seventh with a single before B Marble walked. Gubler got a strike out and a fly out to get within one out. After a wild pitch, the Thunder opted to walk Smoot with first base open. Another wild pitch later and Bear River had knotted it at four.
Gubler induced a grounder to third that seemingly got the Thunder out of the jam, but Newby pulled the throw to first, missing Joey Brooks and going to the wall. Two runs scored, and the Bears were back in the driver seat.
In the bottom half, Bean hit a one-out double and scored on a Cole DeCastro single. DeCastro scored the tying run after Jackson Turley doubled as well and the game went to extra innings.
Bear River answered immediately, loading the bases with the first the hitters in the top of the eighth. Taden Marble pulled a ball into right field to give the Bears their third different lead of the game. After a strikeout, Hunter Harrow drew a walk to build the lead to two. Desert Hills escaped further damage with a 4-6-3 double play.
Newby struck out, Reber reached on an error to bring Karson Irvin to the plate as the tying run. Irvin lined out to short and Reber was doubled off first to complete the upset.
DeCastro, Newby and Bean each recorded two hits for the Thunder. Gubler pitched seven innings, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Smoot went 2-for-3 scoring a trio of runs for Bear River. Easton Lish went 2-for-4 and set the Bears single-season hits record in the effort. Dean allowed only three hits in five innings of work by pitching to contact. He struck out no Thunder.
Desert Hills will take on Stansbury at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The loser of that game is eliminated from the tournament.
Bear River moves on to face Mountain Crest.
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