The difference in Friday’s game between Provo and Timpanogos was throwing control.
The Bulldogs had it. The Timberwolves didn’t.
An excellent throwing performance from Cole Mason helped Provo to a 9-5 third round victory in the Class 5A Baseball Playoffs, forcing a decisive Game 3 of the best of three series.
Game 3 ended after the Daily Herald Friday deadline and will be updated online.
Mason knocked Timpanogos off balance with a good slider and a high fastball that the T-Wolves hitters couldn’t keep up with. Mason allowed just five hits and three earned runs while scoring eight strikeouts.
âI was really just shuffling my pitches,â Mason said. âWhen I mix a lot of days like this, we get what just happened, a win.â
Provo pounced on Timpanogos starter Dakoda West early, scoring three points in the lead on the first on two hits, one walk and two beaters.
âGetting some hits and runs early certainly helps us all,â Mason said. “It keeps us in the game.”
The pitching of the Timpanogos had all kinds of problems, often falling behind in the count. The T-Wolves pitchers walked seven and hit two more hitters while the defense made a few mistakes behind them.
Provo was leading 5-3 after four innings as the T-Wolves kept things close. The Bulldogs had four runs in the start of the sixth, including a baseline hat-trick from Irvin Gonzalez and led 9-3.
Provo took that lead in the bottom of the sixth when the home side mounted a charge. A triple from Ethan Edmonds brought home a run and Timpanogos loaded the goals with two strikeouts as Billy Bird walked. Jackson Bird hit a Mason field deep in center field but Cole Frazier chased the ball down the warning lane to end the threat.
The T-Wolves added a run in the seventh on a Will Thomas RBI single, but Provo reliever Matthew Rhineer called out the last batter to end the game.
Gonzalez had a huge game for the Bulldogs (12-16), 3 for 3 and in six points. Rhineer and Alex Martinez added two hits each for Provo.
Tate MacGillivray had three of six hits for Timpanogos (19-7), who won the series opener 11-1 on Thursday.
âWe knew we could take these guys,â Mason said. âWe had a really tough day yesterday, but we knew they are pretty much the same as us, and we can beat them again.
The best of three series winner will advance to the championship round next week at Salt Lake Community College.