ST. GEORGE — Nineteen runs in two games and a pair of convincing wins have Desert Hills fans thinking a return trip to the state championship game could be a distinct possibility in a couple of months.
The Thunder opened the 2014 campaign with a 12-0 mercy-rule win over 5A West Jordan, then followed that up with a late-night 7-3 victory over Payson. In doing so, DH saved ace pitchers Dylan File, Blake Betts and Baden Powell for key Saturday games.
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“We really like our team again this year,” Thunder coach Jerry Beck said. “We feel like we have some unfinished business. We’ve got some good young players and we’ve got some experienced guys as well.”
Desert Hills really laid the wood to West Jordan, which never even got a base runner past second base. Brayson Hurdsman, a sophomore, kept the Jaguars guessing the whole game, allowing just two hits and one walk in five innings of work.
“He’s a basketball kid, so we were watching him closely and he was on a definite pitch count,” Beck said. “He’s in shape, but not in game shape. But if he keeps pitching like this, we’re going to have to find room for him in our rotation.”
Hurdsman had plenty of support. The Thunder got him three runs early, tacked on five more in the fifth inning and invoked the mercy rule in the sixth inning with another big rally. Braiden Irvin, DH’s wunderkind shortstop, had a pair of doubles and five runs batted in. Cam Winget and Clay Gardner had a pair of hits as well and File doubled in the game as the Thunder pounded out 10 hits.
With a couple of longer games earlier in the Desert Hills Invitational, the DH-WJ game was an hour late getting started, meaning the DH-Payson game was also more than an hour late. When it did get going, the Thunder managed to take care of business behind the pitching of Kayson Bowler.
Pine View 13, Delta 2
Grantsville 4, Pine View 3
The Panthers split a pair of games in the Panther-Tiger Classic Friday afternoon and evening, dropping the early game to the Cowboys despite a rousing rally and then capturing the late game with a mercy-rule blowout over the Rabbits.
In the win over Delta, the Panthers broke a 2-2 tie with eight runs in the top of the second inning. Pine View scored in every inning except the third and forced the game to be shortened by an inning with the mercy rule.
In an amazing and inspiring effort, Kashden Walker had three hits and four runs batted in on the same day he attended the funeral of his father, legendary Pine View coach Darin Walker. Kash also had a stolen base in the game.
The Panthers lost the early game despite the best efforts of Dakota Donovan, who pitched a complete game. He allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out 11 and also hit a solo home run.
Brooks Barney had a double and Harrison Goebel had two hits and two RBIs in the early game.
Dixie 3, Hunter 1
Bear River 4, Dixie 2
The Flyers split a pair of games in the Pizza Hut Classic Tournament Friday in St. George. Dixie pitched well, but struggled defensively in the two contests. The Flyers play at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday.
Park City 14, Hurricane 5
Miners break out the bats in big win at HHS. Hurricane is 2-1.
Canyon View 10, Lehi 5
Canyon View 5, Maple Mountain 2
The Falcons improved to 3-0 with the sweep on Friday.
Cedar 8, Stansbury 1
Cedar 12, Tooele 0
Cedar opened the season with a pair of wins and will continue play in the Pizza Hut Classic in St. George Saturday.
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