Pine View snags final playoff spot on last day of region baseball season

Dixie at Pine View, St. George, Utah, May 2, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — With one game left and the state playoffs a win away, Pine View could have been nervous, tense and uptight. But the Panthers, instead, played loose and relaxed and earned their way into the 3A State Tournament with a 5-2 victory over Dixie Friday night at Panther Field.

Pine-view-smdixie-sm“I really didn’t feel any nervousness or rushing or urgency out of the kids,” Pine View coach Mike Gargano said. “It seemed like everyone was calm and we just came out and took care of business. The only anxiety came in the seventh inning when Dixie had that little rally.”

Pine View trailed 1-0 early, but took the lead at 2-1 in the third inning and added to it in the fourth. By the seventh, the Panthers held a 5-1 edge. But that’s when Dixie finally got to Panthers starter Harrison Goebel, who had pitched very well into the seventh.

Justice Santiago had a big game, Dixie at Pine View, St. George, Utah, May 2, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Justice Santiago had a big game, Dixie at Pine View, St. George, Utah, May 2, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

The Flyers started the inning with three straight hits. The third, a double by Chance Aplanalp, cut the PV lead to 5-2 and sent Gargano to the mound to yank Goebel. The Panthers skipper called on ace Dakota Donovan with one out and runners on second and third with Dixie slugger Braxton Ipson at the plate.

“Dakota kind of pitched around Ipson and walked him, but then really handled the next two batters,” Gargano said. “He’s our horse and after the walk, he went right after those other guys.”

Donovan got a strikeout and a weak groundout from the next two Dixie hitters to end the game, giving Pine View a 7-5 region record and the final playoff spot from Region 9.

“We just went out there and figured we controlled our own destiny and had to go after it,” Gargano said. “The guys played with a ton of energy and were really hitting the ball hard.”

Along with Goebel’s strong start and Donovan’s save, Pine View also got huge efforts from Dylan Draper and Justice Santiago. Draper had a single and double (going 4 for 5 vs. Dixie in two games) and Santiago’s two-run homer in the fourth inning gave the Panthers a much-needed cushion in the middle part of the game. Santiago also doubled in the third and Donovan had a pair of singles in the game.

Drew Bailey drew a bases loaded walk in the first inning off Goebel to put Dixie ahead 1-0 in the first inning. Logan LaFemina knocked in two runs in the third to give PV the lead. Santiago then socked a two-run bomb to left-center in the fourth that made it 4-1. The Panthers fifth run came in the fifth when Draper singled home Triston Duran.

For Dixie, Tanner Webster had two hits and Chris Petrosie kept the Flyers in the game with a decent outing on the mound.

Pine View, 12-9 overall and 7-5 in region, finishes one game ahead of Snow Canyon for the final playoff spot from Region 9. The Panthers actually tied Canyon View for third, but lost both games to CV this year, so will play at Payson High School in the first-round pod and, as the fourth seed, will draw the host Lions in the first game, which is slated for 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Payson is 15-8 and played just one Region 9 opponent this year, dropping a preseason decision to Desert Hills 7-3 back in early March.

Dixie ends the year 11-12 overall and 4-8 in region.

Stats: dixpv5214


Region 9
Desert Hills 9 3 68 32 .750 17 5 147 45 .773
Cedar 8 4 71 36 .667 18 5 169 59 .783
Canyon View 7 5 67 52 .583 13 8 126 97 .619
Pine View 7 5 67 65 .583 12 9 129 109 .571
Snow Canyon 6 6 75 79 .500 12 11 159 157 .522
Dixie 4 8 64 56 .333 11 12 132 107 .477
Hurricane 1 11 35 127 .083 7 14 113 205 .333

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