ST. GEORGE — There’s a lot of baseball left to be played in the 2015 Region 9 season, but Snow Canyon has grabbed hold of the Region 9 steering wheel and doesn’t plan on letting go.
The Warriors finished a two-game sweep of Pine View Wednesday with an important 5-3 road victory at Panther Field. The Panthers out-hit the Warriors 8-4 and PV starting pitcher Harrison Goebel only allowed one earned run in the game, but the Warriors scored on two wild pitches, two errors and an RBI single by Chance Thorkleson to take the win.
“I was a little worried how we might come out after last night’s close game,” Snow Canyon coach reed Secrist said. “Our JV played a little flat and I thought we might come out the same way. But to put a few runs up in the first couple of innings and then hold on against a pitcher like Goebel is a credit to these guys. We got our lead and then we held on.”
Pine View was its own worst enemy in the first three innings. An error on a ground ball scored Jake Frei to start the game after Frei had walked to open the contest. Moments later, Nick Dolce scored on a wild pitch, making it 2-0 before the Panthers had even taken a swing.
The Warriors added another run in the second on a wild pitch that brought Isaac Rhea home. He had walked, advanced to second on a fielder’s choice and gone to third on a passed ball.
In the third, two more scored for SC. Brad Grisenti singled and went to second on a wild pitch, then scored on Thorkleson’s base hit to center. He eventually scored on a pickoff attempt by the catcher at second base that caromed into the outfield.
“A lot of people probably wonder how the heck we got five runs on just four hits,” Secrist said. “We were fortunate and we didn’t have very good at-bats later in the game. But we were able to protect the lead. Jake (Sargent) and Nick (Dolce) did a great job on the mound.”
Sargent, who missed Tuesday’s game with the flu, pitched four innings and got the win for Snow Canyon. He said the sickness definitely drained him.
I really wanted to throw tonight, so I suffered through school and then went home and took a nap,” Sargent said. “I did everything I could this whole day to have enough energy to pitch. I don’t think I was throwing my hardest. I did the most I could. Nick did a great job of coming in and finishing it off.”
Sargent went four innings, allowing four hits and two runs, only one of which was earned. Dolce came on in the fifth with no one out and a man on first and a 5-1 lead. He immediately gave up base hits to PV’s Kash Walker and Logan LaFemina to load the bases. But the Warrior hurler looked like he was going to work out of the jam after forcing a pop-up and strikeout.
The next hitter, Goebel, hit a hard grounder to short. The wormburner was mishandled and dribbled into the outfield, plating Jackson Bithell and LaFemina and making it 5-3. The error woke up the home crowd, which had been sleepy since the 5-0 start early in the game for Snow Canyon. The next batter, with runners on first and third, put a charge into the ball, but the screaming liner was flagged down by Logan Opdahl in center field to retire the side.
Goebel made it through six innings and Carter Milne retired the Warriors in order in the top of the seventh, leaving the score at 5-3 with Pine View headed out for its final at-bat. Ty Johnston got a one-out single to left field, but Dolce forced a flyout by Brooks barney and then struck out Goebel to end the game.
“We’ve been throwing strikes and playing good defense,” Secrist said. “We’ve faced some pretty good pitching the past two days, which usually holds down the hitting. But these guys keep believing in themselves and building confidence. But our goal is to be playing great baseball at the end of May and be 3-0 in the state tournament. Region 9 is going to be a great battle and that team over there (Pine View) is going to knock some people around.”
The Warriors are a perfect 10-0, 2-0 in region. Snow Canyon plays two next week against Canyon View, a team that swept the Warriors last season.
Pine View, which was picked by many to win the league crown, drops to 3-7 on the year, 0-2 in region play. The Panthers, who play Hurricane in a two-game set next week, have lost five straight games.
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