ST. GEORGE — Defending Region 9 champion Desert Hills grasped the reins of the region once again with a rousing come-from-behind win on the road Tuesday night, while Cedar continued its recent surge with a walk-off win against Dixie and Canyon View halted its three-game losing streak with a big win over Hurricane. Here’s a recap of Tuesday’s action from around the region:
Desert Hills 7, Snow Canyon 4
Cam Winget has struggled mightily at the plate in region play, even getting moved down in the batting order as he fights to break out of his slump. If Tuesday night is any indication, the slump is over.
“Cam’s had a rough year to this point,” DH coach Jerry Beck said. “He started out as our clean-up hitter and we’ve had to bump him down a little bit. But we’ve hung with him and he’s had a lot better ABs the last week or so. We kind of had a feeling this would be a good game for him and he clutched up for us.”
Errors and some timely hitting had Snow Canyon ahead 4-1 heading into the sixth inning. The Thunder scored a couple of runs in the top of the sixth as Wyatt Bendall had a solo homer and Winget laced a run-scoring double down the line that plated Preston Creager.
In the top of the seventh, with SC still leading 4-3, Brayson Hurdsman ripped the first pitch of the inning over the center field fence to tie the game up. Bendall followed that with a walk and a stolen base. After a fly out, Creager drew a base on balls to put runners at the corners with one out.
That’s when Winget came to the plate. After looking at a strike, he guessed right on a fastball and hit a towering shot that easily cleared the 21-foot tall center field fence.
Desert Hills relief pitcher Braiden Irvin did the rest. In fact, Irvin pitched the last three innings for the Thunder, allowing no hits and just one walk.
“We usually use Braiden in relief, but he had to start last week,” Beck said. “He’s a lot better suited to the relief role. I can’t say enough about him coming in and slamming the door and giving us a chance.”
DH got behind 4-1 early with Jake Sargent knocking home a pair of runs and Koby Holyoak scoring twice as a speed-up runner. Brad Grisenti had an RBI for the Warriors as he hit a solo home run in the fourth inning. But it could have been much worse for Desert Hills as they had surrendered eight hits, five walks and three errors in the first four innings.
“We told the guys at the beginning of the game that, with the wind blowing out, some runs were going to be scored in the game,” Beck said. “We told the guys to not let that get them down. Snow Canyon’s a great hitting team. But we play seven innings and we can score, too. Things could have gotten out of hand for us early, but we were fortunate to make a big pitch or make a big play that got us out of some jams.”
The big win was key for Desert Hills to hold onto first place in the region. At 4-1 in region (11-5 overall), the Thunder are a half-game ahead of 4-2 Pine View, which has a region bye this week. It also puts Desert Hills a full game ahead of Dixie, which lost to Cedar Tuesday afternoon.
Nick Dolce had three hits for the Warriors, while Sargent and Grisenti had two each. Snow Canyon fell to 3-4 in region, 11-4 overall.
The two teams will reprise their rivalry Friday night at Thunder Field.
Cedar 4, Dixie 3
A blustery afternoon game in Iron County ended when Johnny Jenkins singled home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
A pair of Dixie errors helped the Redmen build a 3-0 lead in the first three innings. But the Flyers rallied with a run by Jaden Rawlings in the fourth and RBI’s by Rawlings and Collin Hutchings in the fifth.
Jenkins ended it in the seventh. He came to the plate with Rykker Tom on third. Tom got on after being hit by Dixie starter Drew bailey, stealing second and then going to third on a Dixie error on a ground ball hit by Trey Esplin. The solid single sent the Redmen to their third straight win.
Cedar, 12-4 overall and 4-3 in region, got a complete game from starting pitcher Brecken Lewis. He struck out six and allowed five Dixie hits.
Bailey had eight Ks in the loss as Dixie fell to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in region.
The two teams will meet in St. George Friday night with first pitch at 7 p.m.
Canyon View 13, Hurricane 2
After missing a start with a sore back, Zack Brinkerhoff was back on the mound for the Falcons, who scored six runs in the sixth to shorten the game via the 10-run mercy rule. He allowed just four hits in the CV win.
The Falcons gave him plenty of support as well, breaking open a 1-1 game with six runs in the fourth and six more in the sixth. Payton Higgins and Jaden Black tripled in the game for Canyon View, which improved to 3-4 in region (7-9 overall) and halted a three-game losing streak.
The Tigers kept it close early behind the pitching of Kyle Williams, but ultimately fell to 5-9 overall and 0-5 in region games. The two teams will meet again Friday at 4 p.m. in Cedar City.
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