JORDAN -- One pitch at a time. Every inning, all game long.
That is the motto Syracuse coach Jeff Bearnson has been preaching to his team in the five years the school has existed.
And in the case of the Titans, they lived and breathed it for the entire game Tuesday morning.
Trailing 9-4 entering the top of the sixth inning and with two outs, Syracuse exploded for four runs to get within one run at 9-8, then tacked on two more in the seventh to tie the game and scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth to capture a thrilling 11-10 victory over the Riverton Silverwolves to advance further into the state 5-A tournament.
"I'm so thrilled for these kids," an emotional Bearnson said. "This speaks volumes to the kids and their belief in what we are trying to do here. One pitch at a time, every inning, all game long. We got down early and I told the kids to bag it -- we're going down in a blaze of glory. And the funniest thing happened; we started to smoke pitch after pitch and get hit after hit and rallied to come from behind.
"These kids don't know the meaning of the word quit. They never gave up and battled the entire game. And guess what, the teams in the North can play a little bit."
After struggling to find any sort of rhythm, the Titans broke out the big bats in the sixth. With two outs and a runner on first, Braden Roberts singled, Jordan Pobanz reached on a fielder's choice and scored a run. Brandon Hammond then blistered a two-run double into right field and Rieley Gibson added an RBI single that cut into the lead.
RBI singles from Roberts and Pobanz tied the game at 10-10 before Hayden Udy picked up the game-winning RBI sacrifice fly with the bases loaded which was caught at the warning track in the top of the eighth inning for the 11-10 victory. Relief pitcher Spencer Johnson came on and pitched the final three innings to get the win, which ended the game with a 4-6-3 double play.
Offensively, Udy was 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored for the Titans. Roberts, Gibson and Jayden Bearnson also had two hits each. Syracuse now faces Bingham at 4:30 p.m. at Cate Field at SLCC Jordan Campus.