6A playoffs: Farmington baseball run-rules West to advance to 2nd round
FARMINGTON — A few times this season, the Farmington High baseball team’s Instagram account has posted about the team being the “sixth-inning bandits,” owing to the Phoenix’s propensity for taking the lead in the sixth inning, or at least being very good in the sixth and late in games.
On the second hot day of the spring so far, Farmington’s bats were hot enough that the Phoenix didn’t even need to work its sixth-inning magic Monday.
The No. 9 Phoenix plated eight runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth, securing a 14-4, run-rule win over No. 24 West and a first-round 6A playoff series sweep.
“As a team, it’s our goal to get off the field in 12-13 pitches or less and our pitchers executed and we were able to field the ball. We didn’t hurt ourselves. We played as a team and got it done,” senior catcher Mason Cook said.
The 6A tournament bracket is reseeded after the first round, but since Farmington (18-9) was the highest-seeded team in a first-round series, the Phoenix will head to No. 8 West Jordan for a second-round, best-of-three “super regional” series starting Thursday at 4 p.m.
It’ll be a familiar position for FHS. In last year’s 5A playoffs, the No. 9 Phoenix upset No. 8 Mountain Ridge in the super regional round to get to the tournament’s final eight.
Bottom-seeded West (6-17) was more than fair game for 3 1/2 innings on Monday, though.
The Panthers led 3-2 with Farmington coming to bat in the bottom of the fourth, having scored with a deep RBI double, a groundout and a chopper in the earlier innings.
Farmington’s Park Romney led off the fourth inning with a walk after a long at-bat. Pretty soon, the bases were loaded for Landon Tanner, who singled on a 3-2 count to give Farmington a 4-3 lead. The figurative dam broke right then and there.
“I think they’re playing loose, having a lot of confidence, doing things for each other, and they’re playing well as a team right now,” FHS coach Alex Exon said.
Tucker Wall, who pitched the first four innings, roped a two-run single into left field for a 6-3 lead. Outfielder Jack Hansen rolled a two-run base hit of his own down the left-field line for an 8-3 lead.
Cook hit an RBI double and Luke Workman brought in the 10th run with a groundout.
“We had a couple rough innings in a row with some tough (at-bats) but then got back to it. We had (Romney) get on base for us, and that helped us push him over and everybody did their job,” Cook said of the fourth inning.
West’s Harper DeVroom homered to lead off the fifth, but Farmington responded with four runs in the bottom half to end things early. This time, it was Landon Day with a two-run single, followed by an RBI single from Wall and a deep sacrifice fly by Romney.
Farmington had key hits all throughout the lineup, and while teams typically make deep playoff runs with deep pitching, a team that can hit throughout the lineup is just as dangerous.