CEDAR CITY — Maybe Canyon View’s baseball team should be the Phoenix, not the Falcons. Friday night they rose from the ashes of near-certain defeat and beat Pine View 9-8 to capture a two-game sweep of the Panthers and improve to 4-2 in region play in 2014.
Down 8-6 with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the seventh, Canyon View’s No. 9 hitter, Jaden Black, fouled off a couple of pitches before drawing a 3-2 walk. Keaton Kringlen followed with a single, then Payton Higgins loaded the bases by getting hit with a pitch. After a Pine View pitching change, Black scored when Skyler Johnson was also hit by a pitch, making it 8-7. A wild pitch brought Kringlen home with the tying run.
Up stepped Xavier Stoker, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound sophomore who already had three hits in the game. The Falcons third baseman calmly fouled off a couple of pitches before stroking a walk-off single to center field that scored Higgins and sparked the comeback celebration for the Phoenix, er, Falcons.
“I was just hoping we could get the job done because today’s the crappiest we’ve ever played as a team,” Stoker said. “I was just thinking, that’s what we practice in the cage for and in practice. This is the time to go, you know.”
Pine View had led the game throughout the evening, starting with a four-run rally in the second inning that gave the Panthers a 6-2 lead and chased CV starting pitcher Ty Nielsen. Zack Brinkerhoff, who pitched four-plus innings in the Falcons’ 9-2 win Tuesday night against Pine View, took over on the mound and gave up just two unearned runs the rest of the game.
With PV ahead 7-2, the Falcons started their comeback in the fourth inning. After a Brinkerhoff single and a walk to Kringlen, Higgins socked a three-run homer to left field that made it 7-5.
“Payton’s been very, very patient,” Canyon View coach Jason Jacobsen said. “He’s relished that opportunity. When they walk Keaton, Payton’s got to make them pay. He had three or four hits today. That was big.”
Pine View scratched out a run in the top of the sixth to make it 8-5 when Hunter Hansen singled and came around to score on an error later in the inning. The Falcons closed to within 8-6 on an RBI single by Ryan Jensen that plated Stoker, who had also singled.
The Panthers went down in order in the top of the seventh and Canyon View’s first two batters also went down quickly, making the seventh inning go very fast, that is until Black and his teammates started the ultimate game-winning rally.
Stoker finished with four hits and three RBIs in the game and Higgins did his part with three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored.
For Pine View, Hansen had three hits, including a two-run triple, and Logan LaFemina had a two-run double.
The Falcons, 10-5 overall and 4-2 in Region 9, face off against region leader Desert Hills next week. Tuesday’s game is at Canyon View at 4 p.m.
Pine View, 8-7 and 3-3, battles Cedar next week. Tuesday is a night game (7 p.m.) at PVHS.
Desert Hills 7, Cedar 0
Blake Betts and Dylan File combined to shut out the Redmen again, with Clay Gardner’s three RBIs and two doubles leading the way for the offense. The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when the Thunder knocked home a pair of runs. Betts walked and scored on a double by Wyatt Bendall. Brayson Hurdsman, Tuesday’s hero in DH’s 1-0 win at home, brought Bendall home with a single to center field.
Evan Moss, Clay Wilcox and Gardner all had big hits in a three-run rally in the fifth inning that made it 5-0. The Thunder added two more in the seventh inning on RBIs from Gardner and Bendall to put the game away.
DH, 12-2 overall and 4-0 in region, had 10 hits in the game and just one error. The Thunder are at Canyon View Tuesday afternoon.
Cedar, which fell to 12-3 and 2-2, are at Pine View Tuesday night.
Snow Canyon 13, Hurricane 2
Snow Canyon has scored 10-plus runs in all three of those wins, two of which were on the road and looks to keep rolling next week as the Warriors battle Dixie.
Against Hurricane, the game was fairly tight at 4-2 heading into the sixth inning. SC added a pair of runs in the sixth to make it 6-2, then exploded for seven run in the top of the seventh to put the game away and improve its record to 9-6 overall and 3-3 in region play.
The Tigers, who got a double from Tobie Swenson, fell to 6-9 and 0-6. Hurricane takes its region bye next week. Snow Canyon plays at Dixie Tuesday night, then hosts the Flyers Friday night.
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Videocast by Bryce Griffin, St. George News
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