PLAIN CITY — When Sage Wayment first started in the Fremont High baseball program, the coaches would implore him to show a little bit of emotion.
Those same coaches implored him Tuesday to take a deep breath in the top of the seventh inning.
He had just fist-pumped and mildly celebrated after striking out American Fork's leadoff hitter as the Silverwolves clung to a 3-2 lead in the second round of the 6A baseball state tournament.
"I'm not really a talker too much but, this year, I've kind of been better and more excited about it," Wayment said.
After the game, he let loose. All of the Silverwolves did.
Fremont's heading to the state quarterfinals next Monday at Utah Valley University after holding on to beat American Fork 3-2 at home.
There, the Silverwolves will get a shot at revenge against one of the two Region 1 teams they couldn't figure out: Syracuse.
About an hour south in Salt Lake County, the fourth-seeded Titans sprung another upset, beating Kearns 8-2 to set up the rematch between Region 1's first-place team (Fremont) and fourth-place team (Syracuse) — that is if the weather cooperates.
It's supposed to rain up and down the Wasatch Front for a days-long period beginning Thursday. Nothing could dampen Fremont's mood Tuesday, though.
Wayment pitched a complete game, doling four strikeouts against five hits. In Wayment's last five starts, including Tuesday's, he's pitched 31 innings with a 1.35 ERA, 29 hits and 24 strikeouts against eight walks.
"Probably the best game I've pitched, honestly. I struggled in the first inning, giving up a couple hits and stuff. I couldn't get my curveball down and then I got it going after we scored," Wayment said.
The defense behind him helped a lot. In the fourth inning, Shori Teraoka in left field and Brayden Clark in center field made spectacular catches on consecutive at-bats to preserve the 3-2 lead.
Sophomore third baseman Mason Memmott made a handful of good plays at third base.
"It's a balance. I think in years past, we've really focused on offense because we all want to hit and be an offensive powerhouse. At the same time, last year we realized we've got to spend a little more time (on defense)," Fremont head coach Garrett Clark said.
AF started the game with a well-executed first inning, scoring after a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt, a deep fly ball to move the runner to third and an RBI double by first baseman Dawson Parry.
That was the second indication that Fremont was in for a tough battle. The first was when AF, known as one of the best baseball teams in the state, could barely fit all its players in the visiting dugout.
"That's a great team right there. That's a good defense, they play baseball well and so do we. And our guy was outstanding today on the mound," Clark said.
The response for the Silverwolves was swift. In the second, Taylor Ellis hit a sacrifice fly, followed by RBI singles from Mason Memmott and Drake Grange to make it 3-1.
The Cavemen responded with a sac fly and threatened to retake the lead on multiple occasions.
Wayment was there to shut them down and, for the second time in as many nights, Fremont survived a long, drawn-out game (Tuesday's affair featured at least 30 combined pickoff attempts by both teams).
As much as the Silverwolves will look forward to a rematch with Syracuse, they were potentially a judgment call away from that not being the case when the home plate umpire called AF's Peyton Wilson out at first base on a runner interference call.
Here's the play pic.twitter.com/dtVPaCFC50— Patrick Carr (@patrickcarr_) May 15, 2019
A Wilson ground ball went to Grange at shortstop, who flipped it to second baseman Taylor Ellis, who tapped the bag to get leadoff hitter Brayden Howard out and start a potential game-ending double play.
Ellis' throw to first arrived a bit too late and he ended up on the ground on top of a sliding Howard.
The home plate umpire could be heard at least three times saying "runner interference" before Wilson even got to first.
When he called Wilson out, it sparked a polar reaction. Fremont wildly celebrated its first appearance in the state tournament quarterfinals since 2015.
AF coach Jarod Ingersoll, meanwhile, spoke with the umpire at length. The umpire eventually made a motion that appeared to indicate Ingersoll was ejected despite the game being over.