Braves defeat Wildcats in slugfest
North Summit senior Ty Jones set the tone for the Braves early on Tuesday afternoon at home against the South Summit Wildcats.
Leading off the home half of the first inning, Jones smacked a South Summit pitch over the wall, giving his team a 1-0 lead en route to a blowout 12-4 victory over its biggest rival.
Jones batted again in the bottom of the first inning, walloping a two-run double in the at-bat.
He said he was just trying to get back to having fun at the plate and not worrying so much about the result.
"I was being relaxed," he said. "I gave the pitcher a nice smile when I came up. It seemed to bother them more than it bothered me."
North Summit coach Brent Scholes said it was good to see one of his senior leaders break out of a slump.
Jones added a second home run in the fifth inning, a two-run shot over the leftfield wall that gave him five RBI on the afternoon.
"He’s been a little upset with his abilities at the plate the past week or so," Scholes said. "But today he was in the zone he had his stroke back, his head on the ball, and the home runs obviously showed his power."
His improved offense gave him more confidence on defense too. The former catcher, playing third base because of a knee injury, made sliding stops on a couple South Summit rockets.
Scholes said he expected nothing less from Jones.
"He’s always been a leader," he said. "We’ve had to move him around (because of the injury), but he’s one who’s willing to play wherever he can."
Jones said the new position has taken some getting used to, but he’s finally settling in.
"It’s different to see the balls coming at you the other direction," he said.
Ryan McMichael also had two home runs for the Braves, driving in three runs as part of a four-hit day. Todd Wayment added a solo home run in the bottom of the second.
The Wildcats displayed some power of their own, with Bracken Santos and CJ Dinenno smashing homers in the top of the third inning.
"That was the most home runs I can remember on this field," Scholes said. "We’ll take them any day."
Fortunately for the Braves, pitchers Carson Richins and Tanner Olsen were able to limit the damage done by the South Summit bats. The defense also helped the Braves avoid big innings.
"We lost one fly ball in the sun," Scholes said. "But overall, we’re playing solid. It’s all about the fundamentals keeping everything in front of us, not giving them extra bases. Today, I think we did that."
For the Braves, beating their rivals at home for the first time in a couple years was extra sweet.
"There’s no greater feeling than beating South Summit," Jones said. "Hopefully we can go to their place (later this season) and do the same."
North Summit and South Summit are both 2-4 on the season. The Braves are 1-0 in Region 14 play, while the Wildcats are 0-2.
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While walking down Main Street early Sunday afternoon, one couldn’t help but notice the electric atmosphere. The street was completely blocked off, making way for some of the best cyclists in the world to compete in the sixth and final stage of the Tour of Utah.