LEHI — When you think of baseball, sounds are often what comes to mind. The murmur of the crowd, the crack of a bat, the vendor hawking his wares, or even an umpire’s particularly unique exclamation after a strike. Sound is an integral part of the game, and no sound represents baseball at its purist more than the thud a well-thrown pitch makes when it smacks into the catcher’s mitt.
That particular noise was heard early and often Wednesday afternoon at Lehi High School, thanks to Lone Peak pitcher Seth Corry. The senior was dominant, his stuff electric, and Lone Peak rode him to a 5-0 victory over the Lehi Pioneers.
Corry pitched all seven innings, for the complete game, but it was his performance throughout those innings that was special. From the first pitch to the last, Corry was unhittable. The senior struck out 14 Pioneer batters and only allowed Lehi to make contact with the ball fives times over the course of the contest. The few blemishes he had came in the form of three walks, two of which were directly followed by inning-ending double plays.
“I was pumping strikes,” said Corry. “I let a couple get away from me, but I was pumping strikes the whole game. My fastball and my curveball were both working. My change-up was pretty decent too. That’s what I need to do and wins will happen.”
The Knights needed Corry at his best on this day, as Lehi trotted out an ace of its own in Jason James.
James pitched six strong innings for the Pioneers, tallying six strikeouts and zero earned runs.
“(James) is one of the best in the state,” said Corry. “Just knowing that it was going to be a close game the whole game, two pitchers just battling. I had to stay on my game the whole time and be focused.”
Through the first four innings it truly was a pitchers’ duel as neither offense could find a way to score. The Knights, however, did come close to a breakthrough in the second inning. After James struck out the Lone Peak leadoff batter, who just happened to be Corry, Eli Norman singled to give the Knights their first base runner of the game.
Later in the inning, a Crew Robinson double and a Kobe Freeman hit-by-pitch helped the Knights load the bases, with two outs. James was up to the challenge though, and struck out Tyler MacPherson to end the Lone Peak threat.
Lone Peak found its breakthrough in the fifth inning, thanks to a Pioneer error. Similar to the second inning, James struck out the leadoff batter, this time it happened to be MacPherson. The pitcher then forced Colton Easton to hit a fly ball to center for the second out.
Payton Barney refused to facilitate the end of yet another scoreless inning, however, and hit a double to left center for the Knights. With Barney in scoring position, Payton Freeman came to bat and hit a hard ground ball to third. Instead of recording the out, Lehi recorded an error with an overthrown ball, and Barney scored to give the Knights the lead.
Lone Peak would go on to add four more runs to their total, all in the seventh inning, in large part due to the bat of Norman. The senior hit an RBI double, off Lehi reliever McKade Worthen, to cap off a 3-for-4 day.
“Eli’s first couple of games this year were a little off, but so far in this series he has been great,” said Lone Peak head coach Matthew Bezzant. “(Eli) has been huge in getting our offense going. He’s seen the ball well, and against good pitching too. He is a college-level guy.”
All scoring aside, it was Corry and his arm that carried the Knights to the win, which is something that has become a theme for Lone Peak.
“We’ve been a little up and down this season, but our pitching has been phenomenal,” said Bezzant. “To go up two games on Lehi (the Knights also defeated Lehi Tuesday afternoon) is a huge deal in our region. This was an important and hard-fought win.”