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Column: Spring sports playoffs ramp up this week with 6A, 5A tournaments

Monday , May 14, 2018 - 9:03 PM

BASEBALL

(1) Davis vs. (4) Lone Peak

Davis is motivated beyond everything to rectify its early playoff exit from a year ago and the Darts are coming off a week of rest.

They should be ready to deal with a Lone Peak team that’s better than its 10-13 record indicates.

(1) Viewmont vs. (4) Highland

After winning 14 combined games the previous two seasons, Viewmont won 17, including the last 10 in a row, and an outright Region 5 title this year.

Highland beat Viewmont 10-8 on March 29 this season.

(2) Clearfield vs. (3) Pleasant Grove

Pitchers Bryson Hirabayashi (6-2, 1.78 ERA) and Conner Coleman (3-3, 1.75 ERA) lead a deep Clearfield team against Pleasant Grove, which finished third in a tough region with Bingham and American Fork.

(2) Box Elder vs. (3) Skyline

Jeremy Gee has an impressive 6-3 record as Box Elder’s No. 1 pitcher. Box Elder and Skyline both played Weber in non-region play and lost big.

(3) Northridge at (2) American Fork

Northidge pitcher and BYU commit Jake Porter is 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA while junior Jacob Rhoades is 4-1 with a 2.71 ERA.

American Fork, 2016 5A champ, is one of the teams to beat this year despite a No. 2 seed.

(3) Roy at (2) Murray

Roy comes into the playoffs on the back of its first series win of the season.

Seniors Jack Hulce and Brody Perkes are playing well, and the timing could be ripe for the Royals to upset a Murray team that’s lost four straight.

(4) Weber at (1) Bingham

Weber’s senior-loaded team is in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Jace Campbell leads the team in home runs (5), doubles (7) and RBIs (26).

Seven Bingham starters are hitting .300 or better, but more impressively the team has an ERA of 2.57.

(4) Bountiful at (1) Olympus

Olympus’s senior-heavy squad hits .389 as a team with four players hitting .400-plus, has a team ERA of 2.24 and an overall record of 23-2.

It’s a tall task facing Bountiful, but the Braves just won three of four games against Woods Cross to get into the playoffs.

SOFTBALL

(1) Syracuse vs. (4) Westlake

Syracuse has a lot of things in its favor: experience, solid pitching, solid hitting, solid defense and a 5-1 record in games decided by two runs or less this year.

First up is a young Westlake team that went 7-13 this year.

(1) Bountiful vs. (4) East

Bountiful sophomore Dashani Purcell is hitting .507 with team highs in home runs (14) and RBIs (46), one of three starters hitting .500 or better.

Sophia Stoddard (.514) and freshman Libbie Hawker (.500) round out the rest of .500-plus hitters.

(2) Layton vs. (3) American Fork

Layton is on a roll at a good time. The Lancers started Region 1 play 2-3, then won seven straight games to clinch second place. 

Pitcher Jackie Gold, catcher Kaitlyn Roberts and Mikayle Stites have been responsible for a lot of the recent success. 

(2) Box Elder vs. (3) Olympus

Box Elder’s dynamic duo of Brylee Marziale (9-4, 1.57 ERA) and Nyah DeRyke (5-2, 1.49 ERA) could help take the Bees make a deep run.

Sydnie Blacker bats .432 and leads a Bees team batting .389. DeRyke and Marziale each bat .425 and have 68 RBIs between the two of them.

(3) Clearfield at (2) Pleasant Grove

Clearfield survived a rough patch from late April to early May and has now won four of its past five games.

Senior Jessie Golder leads the team in batting, with freshmen Rachael Brown and Kaycee Valencia not far off.

(3) Roy at (2) Murray

Murray hits .369 as a team, but has a 6.86 ERA which is where Roy can capitalize. Royals pitcher Maysa Averett and catcher Ana Palmer have been two of the team’s more reliable players.

(4) Davis at (1) Bingham

Davis may be the most dangerous No. 4 seed in the 6A field and can show off why against a loaded Bingham team that went unbeaten in Region 4.

The Darts hit .344 as a team to go with 24 homers and lost to Bingham 6-5 in the teams’ season opener way back in March.

(4) Woods Cross at (1) West

Defending 5A champion West hasn’t lost to a team from Utah and is this year’s overwhelming tournament favorite.

Freshmen Elizabeth Busdicker (.353), Jade Valdez (.339) and Autumn Johnson (.326) lead Woods Cross in batting.

SOCCER

(1) Layton vs. (4) American Fork

Layton’s defense has allowed just nine goals in 14 matches with six shutouts.

The Lancers have allowed more than one goal just once, but the defending 5A champs have a big target on their back after last year’s championship.

(1) Box Elder vs. (4) East

The Region 1-champion Bees get a stiff test from East on Wednesday, which is 9-7 overall and held its own in a brutal Region 6. Bees striker Mitchell Pyle leads all of 5A with 18 goals.

(2) Weber vs. (3) Bingham

Weber’s defense has kept seven clean sheets and the Warriors are 7-2 in games decided by one goal. Eric Morris leads the team with 10 goals.

(2) Roy vs. (3) Olympus

Roy hosts the best three-seed in the 5A tournament, Olympus (10-3-3) on Wednesday. Cody Moore and Gunner Erickson lead the Royals with six goals apiece.

(3) Davis at (2) Westlake

Jeremy Sommer leads Davis with 13 goals in 16 matches. The Darts are one of the best No. 3 seeds in the 6A field and have enough firepower to upset the Thunder.

(3) Viewmont at (2) West

Viewmont is unbeaten its last three games and will need to turn that into a good performance against West on Wednesday, which has won five straight. Preston Pitt leads the Vikings with eight goals.

(4) Northridge at (1) Pleasant Grove

Northridge is making its second playoff appearance since making the quarterfinals in 2004. The Knights visit a Pleasant Grove team that hasn’t lost since April 11.

(4) Woods Cross at (1) Skyline

Stop Jake Jensen, and Woods Cross has a chance to win Wednesday. Skyline is one of the 5A favorites having won a tough region and beaten Layton, Box Elder and Fremont in non-region play.

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