March 15, 2024

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Rojas Closes Out American Fork Win at PG

3 min read
Rojas Closes Out American Fork Win at PG

Josh Rojas, the catcher for American Fork, typically performs at his best behind the plate.

Rojas had to finish the game on the mound in the opening game of Region 4 on Tuesday at Pleasant Grove.

With runners on first and second and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, the senior got Tua Wolfgramm to ground out to first to complete a well-played 3-2 victory over the Vikings.

“I just try to throw strikes,” Rojas said. “I put my defense into play because I have faith in the group. Behind me, I have a strong squad.”

By scoring all three runs, Rojas also provided the majority of the Cavemen’s offense.

“I like how we play together,” he said. “We’re a tough team, and when the going gets tough, we get tougher. I enjoy playing with the group. I love this team.”

Baseball schedules were thrown off throughout the valley for the majority of March due to the lingering winter. The majority of their preseason games were actually played in St. Louis by American Fork (7-3) and Pleasant Grove (4-6). Prior to their matchup on Tuesday, Las Vegas and George had both suffered all of their defeats at the hands of opponents from other states.

Both teams were more than ready to begin Region 4 play as it reached the 70s for the first time this spring.

“It’s been a challenge,” Jarod Ingersoll, an AF coach, said. “Everyone is over staying indoors. Leaving today was enjoyable.”

The pitching matchup featured Dax Watts of AF and Hudson Banks of PG. When they both exceeded the high school pitch limit (110 pitches), both players finished 6 2/3 innings before being replaced by relievers. Banks scattered seven hits while walking twice and striking out eight. Just two hits were allowed by Watts, who also walked six hitters and struck out four.

In the third inning, American Fork made a big comeback. A two-out walk was received by Ryder Robinson, and C.J. Mascera erred by reaching. With a looping double to right, Rojas scored both runners to give his team a 2-0 advantage.

The deficit was halved by Pleasant Grove in the bottom of the fifth. Jacob Baxter, the No. 9 hitter, walked, advanced to second on a throwing error, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then crossed the plate on a balk. Ryker Schow drew a walk, and Wolfgramm scored on a single to make the score 2-all.

In the top of the seventh inning, two walks, a Robinson single, and two outs allowed American Fork to load the bases. To score the winning run at 3-2, Rojas took a pitch on the knee from PG relief pitcher Cole Douglas.

The bottom of the seventh inning saw Watts record the first two outs, but he still struck out Baxter. When Rojas entered the game, Schow hit a bleeder just past the mound to advance to first. With a hit, Wolfgramm could have tied the game, but he grounded out to Watts at first base on a Rojas pitch to end the game.

“We did great job defensively and I was really happy with our effort on the mound with Dax and then Josh coming in to clean up,” Ingersoll said. “In this league, you need to figure out how to win close games. We always know we’re going to be in a dogfight because PG is well-coached.”

The second and third games of the series between the two teams will be played by the two teams on Thursday in American Fork and on Friday in Pleasant Grove.

Reference: www.heraldextra.com

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