Baseball roundup: Thunder gut out home win vs. scrappy Hurricane Tigers

Hurricane at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Apr. 15, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The champs were on the ropes, so to speak. But like so many champs do, Desert Hills punched its way out of trouble and on to victory.

Desert-Hills-smhurricane-smThe Thunder overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the Hurricane Tigers 7-4 Tuesday night and hang on to first place in Region 9 on a gorgeous evening at Thunder Field.

“We gutted one out, but I’m not happy with the way we played,” DH coach Jerry Beck said. “Everyone was trying for a big swing. I hope this serves as a wake up call. We’ve got to get back to who we are, hitting line drives and ground balls and playing solid baseball.”

Beck also wasn’t thrilled with his starting pitcher’s opening to the game. Baden Powell, who is a three-year starter for Desert Hills, gave up three runs in the top of the first inning to the winless Tigers. Tobie Swenson singled home the first run and Easton Jolley knocked home to more to stake Hurricane to the early 3-0 edge.

Evan Moss, Hurricane at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Apr. 15, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Evan Moss, Hurricane at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Apr. 15, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

Down 3-1 in the fourth inning and with Hurricane threatening to go get more with two on and no one out, Powell executed a perfect 180-degree pickoff move to second base to nab a Tigers baserunner. After a Hurricane stolen base put another man at second, Powell did it again, emptying the bases. He then struck out a Tiger for the third out of the fourth.

The rousing defense seemed to fire up the Desert Hills bats as the Thunder finally grabbed the lead in the bottom of that inning. Blake Betts led off with a walk, then Clay Gardner reached on a tough play for Hurricane’s third baseman. With two on and nobody out, Wyatt bendall hit a deep ball to center that glanced off a Tigers’ glove as he crashed into the fence. A run scored on the play, making it 3-2, and Gardner and Bendall ended up at third and second.

The next hitter, Powell, hit a fly ball to the warning track that was caught by Hurricane left fielder Jolley, but was plenty deep to score Gardner on a sacrifice fly, tying the game at 3-3. After a walk and a popout, Brayson Hurdsman blooped a double to right field that scored Bendall with the go-ahead run. Jordan Evans scored moments later on a Hurricane error and after four innings, the Thunder had a 5-3 lead.

D-Hills scored two more in the fifth on an RBI by Evans and when Powell scored on a wild pitch after he had singled earlier in the inning.

Hurricane got one back in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Erik Mitchell and had three hits n the seventh inning. But one runner was cut down on a laser throw by Dylan File from right field to third base and File tracked down dying liner for the second out.

He then came in from right field to the mound and recorded a strikeout for the game’s final out and a save.

“We didn’t want to use him because he had thrown nearly 100 pitches Friday, but it happened,” Beck said. “Give Hurricane a lot of credit. They fought hard and wanted it. I really got on our guys after the game. We can’t come out and play like this.”

Desert Hills, which had just six hits in the game off of Hurricane pitchers Jay Williams, Drake Hermansen and Cody LeBaron, improved to 14-3 overall and 6-1 in region play.

The Tigers, with 11 hits and two errors in the game, fell to 6-10 and 0-7 in region.

The two teams will face off again Wednesday night in Hurricane. Game time is 7 p.m. Probable starters are Blake Betts for Desert Hills and Easton Jolley for Hurricane.

Stats: hurdh41414

Canyon View 8, Dixie 7

canyon-view-smdixie-smIt was a tough-luck loss for the Flyers, who held a 6-3 lead into the fourth inning. That’s when Keaton Kringlen bashed a grand slam and changed the outlook of the game.

Kringlen’s heroics made it 7-6, but Dixie responded with the tying run in the top of the sixth. Jackson Vasi ended the thoughts of a road win for the Flyers as the Canyon View outfielder ripped a double to the gap that brought home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh for the Falcons.

Ty Nielson gave up seven runs and 13 hits, but got the complete-game win for CV, while Gavin Graff was the tough-luck loser for Dixie. Kringlen also doubled in the game, while Chance Aplanap had two doubles for the Flyers.

Canyon View, 12-6 overall and 6-3 in region, plays at Dixie Wednesday at 7 p.m. and then closes league play with a two game set vs. last-place Hurricane. The Falcons have the last bye of the region season.

Dixie, 10-8 and 3-4, still has two-games series left with Cedar and Pine View.

Cedar 10, Snow Canyon 3

cedar-smsnow-canyon-smThe Redmen seized control of the game with a six-run third inning.

Cedar rapped out 14 hits off of Will Durante, who pitched an eight-inning shutout against Dixie his last outing. The game was tied at 2-2 going into that fateful bottom of the third.

Rykker Tom and Brock Esplin had three hits each for Cedar, which improved to 14-4 overall and 4-3 in region. Kayden Lunt pitched a complete game for the win.

For Snow Canyon, Clint Gates and Jake Sargent both had doubles, but the Warriors managed just six hits total and fell to 10-8 overall and 4-5 in region play.

The two teams meet at SC Wednesday night at 7. It’s a crucial game for Snow Canyon, which has a region bye next week, then closes the season against first-place Desert Hills.

Region 9
Desert Hills 6 1 40 16 .857 14 3 119 29 .824
Canyon View 6 3 56 43 .667 12 6 115 88 .667
Cedar 4 3 32 18 .571 14 4 130 41 .778
Pine View 4 4 51 51 .500 9 8 113 95 .529
Snow Canyon 4 5 61 66 .444 10 8 132 123 .556
Dixie 3 4 54 37 .429 10 8 122 88 .556
Hurricane 0 7 17 80 .000 6 10 95 158 .375

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