New-look Bingham baseball team makes it back to playoffs
May 17, 2019 12:02PM
By Josh McFadden
Bingham pitcher Joey Dixon prepares to delivery the ball in a game earlier this season. (Photo by Pat McDonald)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
Heavy turnover made the 2019 campaign a challenging one for the Bingham baseball team. With several key players from the 2018 state championship squad lost to graduation, Bingham coaches knew duplicating a title run would be a huge task.
Though the Miners fell to third place in Region 4, they still made it to the Class 6A state tournament and stayed alive after the first two rounds by picking up a win in the double-elimination playoffs.
Bingham finished 5-7 in league standings, tying Lone Peak for the third spot, three games behind first-place winners American Fork and Pleasant Grove. The Miners snagged the No. 3 seed and matched up with Region 2’s No. 2 seed, Kearns. Playing on the road in round one, the Miners came up short, losing to the Cougars 5-4 on May 13.
It took three extra innings to decide this contest. After neither team scored in the eighth or ninth innings, Bingham took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th. However, Kearns added a pair of runs when it got up to bat, securing the victory.
The loss didn’t put an end to Bingham’s season, however. The Miners responded the following day with an impressive 8-5 victory over Region 3 champion Copper Hills. Playing on the Grizzlies’ home field, Bingham had 10 hits and scored five runs in the fifth inning alone to pull away. Ace Felise and Braden Horsley each hit doubles, while Peyton Jones was the winning pitcher. It was the second time this season Bingham triumphed over Copper Hills, having first dispatched the Grizzlies back on March 20.
Marching through state can be a gauntlet, but the Miners are accustomed to tough games. Playing in Region 4, one of the most talented in the state, gives the Miners an up-close-and-personal look at formidable competition. Bingham picked up wins against both region co-champions, defeating American Fork 6-3 on April 8 and upending Pleasant Grove on May 2 by the score of 7-6. Bingham also picked up two wins over Lone Peak in the teams’ three meetings, which allowed the Miners to grab the No. 3 seed in a tie-breaker.
Jones and Joey Dixon have been solid on the mound all season. The pitchers accounted for the bulk of Bingham’s wins. Dixon went 5-1, while Jones was 4-3. Horsley also got credited with a pair of victories as a pitcher. Owen Mortensen blasted three home runs during the regular season and contributed five doubles.
The Miners haven’t only made it a habit of qualifying for the state tournament, but the team is accustomed to advancing in the postseason. Bingham has now won at least won game at state every year this century.