LAYTON — Like most of his starts this year, Layton High senior pitcher Cam Day’s presence on the mound attracted a handful of MLB scouts, whose radar guns clocked his fastball between 91-92 mph on a breezy Monday afternoon.
And just like most of those starts this year, the array of radar guns behind home plate didn’t faze Day. He issued two walks, allowed four hits and struck out a whopping 14 batters.
Unlike most of his starts this year, Monday’s game at Northridge had a little more on the line for the Lancers: a region championship.
Another Cam Day pitching gem led Layton to a 6-0 shutout over the rival Knights (12-8, 8-5 Region 1), clinching a first region title since 2014.
Day struck out Samuel Burchell on the last pitch of the game, cueing a celebration that was rather muted compared to the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets overhead that captivated the out-of-town MLB scouts.
“Feels good, we’re not done yet, but it feels good,” senior Jackson Hoffman said. “We’re not the biggest kids, so getting out there and putting the ball in play, pitching and throwing strikes, we’ve always had a strong defense.”
Day had a 1-0 lead to work with before he threw a pitch. The Lancers put a 3-0 lead on the scoreboard after 2 1/2 innings and the key was some clutch hitting.
“We had some two-out hits that I think were big early,” Layton coach Robert Ferneau said.
Austin Tidwell hit a two-out, RBI single in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Hoffman hit a two-out, RBI double to left field for a 2-0 lead in the second. Brad Greenhalgh doubled to right field for a 3-0 lead with (what else?) two outs.
Three more runs in the sixth inning snuffed out any comeback attempts for the Knights, who like most teams in 2021, struggled to get a feel for Day’s pitches enough times to get some runs on the board.
Monday’s result means Northridge is out of the region title race. The two teams meet again Tuesday where Layton (16-5, 10-3) can win the region title outright with a win.
Or if the Knights win and Fremont wins, then Fremont and Layton would be co-region champs. At any rate, there’s a trophy going in the cabinet and that’s what the Lancers were happy about.
“It feels really good from where we were last year to where we are this year. Last year’s group I think was one of the most talented groups that’s come through Layton High School in my tenure, and this group just carried the torch, kept on going and believing in the process,” Ferneau said.