OREM — Dylan Hawkes played a big part in Syracuse High baseball’s playoff run last week.
He pitched a five-inning gem in the fourth-seeded Titans’ massive 11-0 upset win at top-seeded Copper Hills last Monday.
That, followed by an 8-2 win over Kearns in the second round, brought Syracuse to Utah Valley University on Monday in the 6A state quarterfinals to face Region 1 champion Fremont.
Hawkes pitched a total of a third of an inning against the Silverwolves in the teams’ three regular-season meetings, two of which Syracuse won.
Fremont got a full look at him Monday.
The Titans’ impressive postseason tear continued in the state quarterfinals with another pitching gem by Hawkes, who led Syracuse to an 8-1 win.
“Me and my coaches have been working all practice on staying low, getting strikes and throwing strikes. I have a great defense behind me, so I’m not afraid to throw it right down the middle and let those guys hit it to my guys,” Hawkes said.
Much like the three regular-season meetings between the teams where the Titans batted .313 as a team, drew 13 walks and scored 22 runs, their bats exploded again Monday for 12 hits and eight runs.
For those keeping track, the Titans have outscored their three playoff foes 27-3 and out-hit those teams 32-7. And, oh by the way, all three runs allowed have been unearned.
Hawkes retired the first seven batters he saw, didn’t allow a baserunner until the third inning, didn’t allow a hit until the fourth and didn’t allow a run until the sixth when Fremont scored on a throwing error.
He pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowed two hits and one run, walked five and struck out three, mainly featuring a fastball with a ton of movement and a casual-looking pitching motion.
The only reason he didn’t make it a complete game was because he ran into the maximum pitch count with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
“Hawkes was really, really good today,” Fremont head coach Garrett Clark said. “We prepared for him, he gave us what we prepared for and he still beat us, so give him credit.”
Hawkes only pitched 11 innings in the regular season and allowed 11 runs (seven earned) with 10 strikeouts against 13 walks. In the words of Hawkes and Titans head coach Trevor Thomas, Hawkes wasn’t very good in the regular season.
In his two postseason starts: 11 2/3 innings, four hits, one run, nine strikeouts and nine walks.
“No, I have not been (very good), but, hey, if there’s a time we need to turn it on it’s right now. We’re just rolling,” Hawkes said.
Hawkes also batted 3 for 3 with three RBIs. He brought the first run across the plate with a first-inning RBI single.
Caden Mitchell bumped the Titans’ lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the fourth, then Hawkes hit a two-run single later in the inning to make it 4-0.
Mitchell’s two-run single in the fifth made it 6-0 before Fremont scored on a throwing error in the sixth to get on the board.
A wild pitch brought the Titans’ seventh run across the plate before Trey Schofield’s RBI single made it 8-1.
“If you look at our runs scored all year, we’ve been swinging it well all year, we’ve just let a lot of runs in. We’re finally playing defense,” Thomas said.
Syracuse’s barnstorming playoff run is also somewhat unexpected given the fact the Titans have never made a run this deep in the winner’s bracket in school history.
They’ve gone deep in the state tournament one-loss bracket previously, but never in the winner’s bracket.
Syracuse faces the Pleasant Grove-Lone Peak winner on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at UVU as long as the expected rain in the forecast doesn’t wreak all sorts of havoc.
Fremont’s only two hits came from center fielder Brayden Clark, who batted 2 for 3. The Silverwolves drew six walks as a team but never connected the dots enough in an inning to close the scoring gap.
Fremont ostensibly faces Bingham on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the one-loss bracket at UVU. Once again, a rainy forecast may alter that plan.
5A BASEBALL MAPLE MOUNTAIN 6,
Maple Mountain scored two runs in the seventh to break a 4-4 tie and end Farmington’s season in the 5A state tournament one-loss bracket at Kearns High School.
Brandon Young batted 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Brock Brown hit 2 for 3 with a double. The Phoenix led 2-0 after three innings but trailed 4-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.
Farmington scored a run in the fifth and one more in the sixth to level the score. Sam Rencher pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run on five hits with four strikeouts.
Farmington’s inaugural season ends with a 13-16 record.