BRIGHAM CITY -- The baseball regular season is over.
From here on out, everyone has the same record and will be fighting for their playoff lives. The dreams of winning state games and that elusive state title actually began a day earlier for at least one Top of Utah team.
Needing to win a Region 5 play-in game, the Box Elder Bees did just enough to earn a tough 7-4 victory over the Roy Royals Monday, putting the Bees into the 4-A ournament and sending the Royals home for the season.
"I told the kids after the game that it's now a new season where everyone has the same record and anything can happen," Box Elder coach Mike Hollingsworth said. "We were able to get some early runs and that kind of put them back on their heels a little bit. We play a bunch of younger players on the team, including four sophomores and one freshman and they responded very well."
The Bees got things going by scoring five runs over the first two innings on a smattering of Royals' errors. Box Elder tallied two in the first inning on a couple of errors by the infield and three more in the bottom of the second on two more errors and a sacrifice fly that left the visiting Royals a little flat-footed.
Roy was able to battle back by cutting the lead to 5-4 on RBIs from Skylar Coombs and Hunter Grimes heading into the fifth inning, but couldn't score again to make the tournament.
With the victory, Box Elder will join Mountain Crest, Sky View and Logan in representing Region 5 today in the double-elimination 4-A tournament.
Box Elder will will look to the pitching of Tyler Bate, Jayk Brooks and the hitting of freshman Connor Udy.
Davis and Syracuse finished 1-2 in the Region 1 standings and both will host a playoff game today. Fremont finished third and Layton finished fourth and will travel to their first-rounders.
The battle for region supremacy began and ended with Davis and Syracuse -- just like they were supposed to.
"Both teams are so good that we knew going in that the team that won the series was going to win the region," Syracuse coach Jeff Bearnson said. "We had some great pitching performances all year long and coupled with our bats, we were able to make a run. What we really wanted was just to make the state tournament and we set out and earned that goal. Now I think with the pitching and defense and hitting that we have we can make a run heading into the playoffs.
"Davis is a great hitting team and that could really help them if they continue to pitch as well as they have. I like our region and the teams that are in there can win a game or two. We want everyone to show well."
Syracuse will rely on the pitching of Jason Jourdan and Jordan Cobabe while the hitting of Hayden Udy, Jordan Pobanz and Jayden Bearnson will pay dividends as well.
Davis will look to Zak Fuller, Bronson Larson and Dusty Argyle to power that ship into more than just 20 wins this year. Layton will get behind the pitching of Logan Greenhalgh and the hitting of Jaden Trujillo and Quinton Marcelin in order to upset some of the bigger Salt Lake and Utah Valley teams.
Fremont has solid players in Brody Rich, Taylor Kranendonk, Brandon Barela, and Preston Akre that will help guide them through the rigors of the tournament.
With a split on Saturday, the Morgan Trojans remain alive in the state 3-A tournament.
The Trojans play Payson on Thursday afternoon.