Tooele knew the importance of getting a road win Thursday in Ogden.
The Buffs desperately needed a region triumph over Ben Lomond to regain control of its bid for a state playoff berth from the Region 11 ranks and gain a leg up on the Scots in Ogden.
And that is just what Tooele did.
The Buffs erupted for three runs in the fourth and five more in the sixth to break open a 2-0 affair and cruise to a decisive 12-1 victory over the Scots Thursday at Ogden’s Lindquist Field.
Jace Harris tossed a three-hitter, struck out 10 Ben Lomond sluggers and didn’t relinquish an earned run in the key region triumph.
Meanwhile, T.J. Witkowski triggered the Buff hit parade with a double, triple and two RBI. Brock Sorenson, Zac Clausing, Zach Mikesell and Josh Johnson also contributed a pair of safeties each.
The victory boosts Tooele to 5-9 overall on the season and 2-2 in Region 11 play.
The Buffs now venture to Tremonton today to compete in a battle with Bear River on the Bears’ home field at 3:30 p.m.
The Buffs will also hit the road to Ogden Thursday to open the second-half of region action, also at 3:30 p.m. against the Tigers.
Tooele interim-Coach Doug Harding said his team needed the victory to get back into the thick of the four-team race for the final two state berths from the Region 11 ranks. Ben Lomond, Ogden, Tooele and Morgan are all fighting for the third and fourth place seeds in the region ranks this spring.
“That is a great win for us,” he noted. “It evens us up at 2-2. Everyone hit the ball well and Jace had a nice day on the mound. He started and finished the game for us and got the win.
The kids that haven’t been hitting were getting hits in the game and that is important for us.”
Tooele 12 – B. Lom. 1
The Buffs exploded for three runs in the fourth to break open a tight game and tacked on five more in the sixth to extend the margin and cruised to a league win Thursday at Lindquist Field in Ogden.
Tooele drew first blood and never trailed in the game. Harris helped his cause on the mound with a lead off single and Witkowski blasted a RBI triple to stake the visitors to a quick 1-0 cushion.
The Buffs padded the lead with another tally in the top of the second stanza to extend the margin to 2-0. Mikesell reached on a Scot fielding miscue and Danny Wihongi reached on a sacrifice bunt and Ben Lomond throwing error. Johnson chased home Mikesell with a ground out and Tooele was in control of the contest.
The visitors struck for three more runs in the top of the fourth to grab a 5-0 advantage. Sorenson was hit by a pitch to open the pivotal rally, raced to second on a wild pitch and darted home on a Clausing single. Mikesell and Johnson also belted RBI singles to build a five-run edge.
Tooele put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth.
Mikesell opened the frame with a single and stole second. Johnson came through with a key run-scoring single and Blake Olsen reached on a Scot fielding miscue. Harris was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Witkowski forced home a run on a ground out. Alex DeSpain was also hit by a pitch to load the bases once again while Sorenson followed with a RBI hit and Clausing rapped a two-run single to give Tooele a 10-0 lead.
Ben Lomond pushed home an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to extend the game to one more frame. Ty Baty reached on a Buff miscue, Chris Duersch drew a walk and James Hill belted a two-out single to pull the Scots to within 10-1.
The Buffs produced a pair of runs in the top of the seventh for insurance. Olsen drew a oneout walk and Harris reached on a fielder’s choice. Witkowski and Sorenson belted singles and DeSpain reached on a Scot error to push home a pair of runs and conclude the scoring.
Harris and DeSpain also produced one hit each to aid the Buff attack.
Tooele 7 – Wds. Crss 5 The Buff erupted for five runs in the third and two more in the fourth to capture a hard fought non-league triumph over the Wildcats March 15 at Woods Cross.
The Wildcats struck for three runs in the bottom of the second stanza to take an early edge.
Gavin Johnson reached on a Buff fielding miscue and Tyson Bell followed with a double to push Johnson to third and both runners into scoring position.
Jake Bankowski drew a walk to load the bases while two more Buff fielding miscues allowed a pair of ’Cats to cross the plate and Tanner Chadwick belted a sacrifice fly to build a 3-0 lead.
Tooele countered with five tallies in the top of the third to take its first lead of the game, 5-3. Zach Mikesell drew a oneout walk to open the pivotal outburst. Blake Olsen, Jace Harris and T.J. Witkowski followed with consecutive two-out RBI singles and Alex DeSpain reached on a Woods Cross error.
Brock Sorenson blasted a tworun double to conclude the outburst and spot the Buffs a tworun lead.
The visitors tacked on two more tallies in the top of the fourth to build a 7-3 lead. Josh Johnson drew a walk and Olsen was hit by a pitch to open the rally, all with two outs. Harris reached on a Wildcat fielding miscue to push home both Buff runners and extend the margin again.
Woods Cross did slice the deficit to 7-4 in the bottom of the fifth when Cody Gillette smacked a one-out single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jack McAfee and raced home on a clutch two-out single from Cass Christensen to make the game a three-run affair.
Bell smacked a lead off double in the bottom of the sixth to key another rally and later scored on a hit from Cannon in the frame to conclude the game’s scoring.
Witkowski paced the Buff attack with two hits while Olsen, Harris, Sorenson and Danny Wihongi added one hit each.
Harris scattered seven hits, struck out four and walked one to earn the triumph on the hill for Tooele.