Taylor struck out looking at a splitter he thought was going to hit him in the head before it dropped in for a strike. On Friday, Taylor found himself in a similar spot. This time he was ready.
Taylor put the icing on the cake for Fremont (8-7, 5-4 Region 1) in Friday’s rubber match at Layton (6-7, 2-4), hitting an RBI single in the seventh inning to cap a 5-2 win.
“It was super great today to change that and get a hit off of him,” Taylor said.
Layton sophomore pitcher Carson Shaffer held his own against Fremont ace Kyler Bush, and a myriad of errors by both teams resulted in a 2-2 tie game in the sixth. That’s when the breaking point came.
Wyatt Howell hit a slow grounder to Del Rio, the starting third baseman, whose throw to first base went past the bag.
Taylor and Silver Wolves catcher Jack Arevalo came around to score, putting them ahead 4-2 and for the first time, they had the wind at their backs.
“Jack Arevalo is a really high-energy guy, so when he comes across the plate pumped up, we want to carry that energy into everything that we do,” said Fremont senior Cade Hadley, who retired all three Layton batters in the seventh inning to pick up the save.
Fremont third baseman Drake Grange made the Lancers pay for a fielding error in the third inning with a single that scored Wyatt Howell, making it 1-0.
Layton scored twice in third off Fremont errors to take a 2-1 lead. The Silver Wolves thought an Arevalo fly ball in the fourth inning fell and brought Taylor across to score, but the fly ball was ruled an out, so the score stayed 2-1.
The Lancers made some outstanding plays on defense, particularly when centerfielder Landon Brandt sprinted and dove to his right to catch a fly ball from Hadley’s bat, preventing a sure extra-base hit in the fourth inning.
Brandt made another tough catch in centerfield in the fifth, but Layton’s demise came from normally routine plays. The error in the sixth on a ground ball was the one that broke the bank.
“This series, for some reason, we just didn’t play very good baseball,” Layton head coach Robert Ferneau said. “So we’ve got to clean up some things defensively, which I think was our strong point coming into this series.”
Bush had a lot to do with keeping the Lancers out of rhythm, as he has done to other teams this season. He pitched six innings and allowed two unearned runs on four walks, striking out six as his fastball reached 91 mph.
Shaffer pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed five runs for Layton, but only one — Taylor’s — was earned. Layton’s loss puts the Lancers tied with Weber at 2-4, whom they’ll face next week.
Fremont is two games back of Clearfield and Davis, but is now firmly seated in third place in Region 1.
Fremont assistant coach Nelson Nash was in charge Friday after head coach Garrett Clark was ejected from Wednesday’s game and suspended for Friday’s game.