SYRACUSE -- It was seven years in the making, but Syracuse coach Jeff Bearnson's baseball team has earned the first region baseball championship in the school's short history after coming away with a gritty 4-3 victory in eight innings that saw its fair share of drama.
"I couldn't be more proud of what the kids accomplished with this win," Bearnson said. "This is all about these seniors and the work they put in for four full seasons. We had some bumps along the way but the kids keep finding ways to grind out wins and keep things close for most of the game. I am really proud of those young kids (Kole Tracy and Chase Bauerle). To have a freshman (actually a sophomore) step up the way he has ... when we put them down, it's really helped our order get back to the top because the top of our order is pretty dangerous."
Things actually started well for the visiting Davis Darts as they were the first to put a run on the board. Starting pitcher Zac Fuller reached base on an error and eventually would score on a passed ball for the quick 1-0 lead. An answer came right away from the Titans in the bottom of the first when Rieley Gibson and Sawyer Morain contributed RBI singles and Syracuse added another later to grab the 3-1 lead.
Davis got back in the game in the fourth inning when they tied things up on a sacrifice fly and a misplayed fly ball before the pitching finally settled in. It wasn't until the seventh inning that things really heated up. It looked like the Darts were going to score the go ahead run with two outs and the bases loaded, but Kolton Mahoney was able to beat the runner to the bag at third base for the final out of the inning. It was a bang, bang play that could have gone either way.
The Titans might have squeaked out the win on a fly ball from Jayden Bearnson, but a diving catch in center stifled that run as well.
In the eighth, Syracuse had two outs before the youngsters stepped up to the plate. Tracy hammered a ball down the third base line and hustled into second base for the double and would score the game-winner on an RBI single from Bauerle up the middle to set off a wild celebration at the pitchers mound.
"This being my last year, it's neat (to win a region title)," Bearnson said. "Twenty-three years is long enough. I've got a little boy that's 10 and a daughter that's a sophomore that plays basketball and she plays soccer here and I need to spend more time with them."
The Titans earn the first place seed by virtue of their sweep over the Darts, sharing the region title with Layton. The loss means the Darts fall into the third seed and will travel to play their opening round game.
Tracy and Gibson each had two hits on the day to lead Syracuse. Davis had three players with two hits each, getting those from Jackson Peacock, Kody Day and Kyle Godderidge.
* WEBER 5, NORTHRIDGE 0: At Layton, Tyler Arrington pitched the Warriors to the shutout win, limiting the Knights to a pair of hits and six strikeouts.
Nick Arnold took the loss on the mound for Northridge. Teammate Ben Jackson had a double.
* LAYTON 4, FREMONT 1: At Plain City, the Lancers' Parker Kincade broke up the 1-1 game with a two-run double in the eighth inning in the season finale.
Fremont's Josh Payne and Layton's Jaden Trujillo locked up in a pitcher's duel throughout. Trujillo had 12 Ks and helped his cause with a triple at the plate. The Lancers start tournament play as the No. 2 seed.
Bryson Roundy and Jared Nielson each had doubles for Fremont, which will begin 5-A tourney play as the No. 4 seed.
* ROY 6, SKY VIEW 5: At Roy, the Royals tuned up for the state tournament by edging the Bobcats in their regular season finale.
But it was a nail-biter as Sky View scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to put a scare into the home team.
Braxton Patton picked up the win, while Zachary Hansen picked up the loss.
Cy Bambrough had a double for the Royals.
* BONNEVILLE 7, BOX ELDER 6: At Washington Terrace, host Bonneville scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to escape with the narrow victory against the Bees. The teams combined for 20 hits.
Will Heward led the Lakers with three hits, while Dakota Buckway picked up the win on the mound. Buckway, Bryson Von Collin and Hayden Greenwood all added doubles in the season finale for Bonneville.
Darius McFarland and Jacoby Bryce recorded doubles for the Bees. Connor Udy took the loss for Box Elder.
* WOODS CROSS 9, CYPRUS 8: At Salt Lake City, the Wildcats picked up a comeback win in the season finale at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
* CLEARFIELD 2, EAST 1: At Salt Lake City, the Falcons only had a pair of hits but picked up a must win on Wednesday to claim the final state 4-A playoff spott out of Region 6.
Cameron Facer earned the win on the mound.