ST. GEORGE — Three series and three sweeps this week in Region 9 baseball as Desert Hills, Pine View and Cedar created some separation with two-game sweeps of their opponents. The Thunder followed up Tuesday’s nailbiter with an easy win over Canyon View Friday. The Panthers outscored Dixie 17-6 in two games. And the Redmen mercy-ruled Hurricane twice this week. Here’s a recap of Friday’s action:
Desert Hills 14, Canyon View 6
The Thunder pounded out 12 hits, including three home runs, en route to the rout.
Chad Nelson hit a grand slam in the fifth inning, one-upping teammate Brayson Hurdsman, who had a three-run shot in the second inning. Wyatt Bendall also went yard, launching a two-run bomb in the first inning. Bendall also had a double and scored three times in the game. All-totaled, D-Hills faced four pitchers, drew nine walks and even had three batters hit by pitches. Only one starter failed to get a hit and only two starters failed to score a run.
Hurdsman also got the win on the mound, going five innings and allowing six hits and three earned runs. Braiden Irvin pitched the sixth and seventh innings, allowing just one hit.
Canyon View had pulled to within 8-5 in the third inning, but the Thunder loaded the bases in the fifth with a single and two walks. With two outs, Nelson stepped to the plate and hit a first-ball fastball over the left-center field fence to instantly make it 12-5.
With the win, DH improves to 7-1 in region, one game ahead of Pine View. Cedar is close as well at 7-3, though the Redmen were already swept by the Thunder. Desert Hills faces Hurricane next week and then closes the year with a two-game set vs. the Panthers.
Canyon View, 8-11 and 4-6, needs to win its final two region games to have any kind of chance to get into the playoffs. The Falcons have a region bye next week and close the season with two games vs. Dixie.
Pine View 7, Dixie 3
Conner Clark hit a two-run home run as part of a huge second inning for the Panthers, who gave starter Harrison Goebel all the cushion he would need to cruise to the win.
With Kash Walker at third and one out, Clark was trying to hit a deep fly ball to sacrifice home the second run of the game. But the fly to left field just kept going and going, finally clearing the fence as the Dixie outfielder watched helplessly.
But PV wasn’t satisfied with the 3-0 lead. With two outs, Tybo Johnston doubled and Logan LaFemina singled him home to make it 4-0. Goebel drew a walk and then back-to-back wild pitches scored LaFemina (making it 5-0) and moved Goebel to third. Dakota Donovan then lined a single into right field to score Goebel and it was 6-0.
“Dixie’s a good-hitting team and we knew the game wasn’t over, but it was nice to have that early lead,” PV coach Mike Gargano said. “Harrison’s one of the best pitchers in the state, but they hit the ball pretty hard off him today. The key was he didn’t give up walks. We’ve been on him about that lately and he did a good job today.”
The Flyers did chip away at the lead, scoring a run in the third on a Drew Bailey homer, then another in the fourth on a Hobbs Nyberg RBI that made it 6-2.
In the sixth, Dixie got two men on with one out on hits by Kody Hutchings and Jaden Rawlings. Goebel uncorked a wild pitch with Hutchings on third, but was able to swipe-tag Hutchings at the plate as he tried to score on the play on a quick relay from catcher Jackson Bithell. Chaz Hansen and Nyberg followed with singles to get Rawlings home, but that play at the plate helped the Panthers avert disaster in an inning where Dixie had four hits.
Leading 6-3, Pine View loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth. DHS pitcher Colin Hutchings uncorked a pitch that went to the backstop. LaFemina, at third, took a few steps toward home, then retreated back to third. The runner at second, Justin Lewis, was caught between bags and hurriedly tried to return to second. Recognizing the opportunity, Dixie catcher Trevor Connell gunned a throw toward second. But the ball sailed high and into the outfield and LaFemina was able to jog home on the error.
Brooks Barney pitched the seventh for Pine View, allowing no hits and just one walk.
“This sweep was so big for us,” Gargano said. “Everyone in Region 9 is so tough, but we feel like we’re on the right track. We’ve been playing pretty well and hopefully we can keep building toward the playoffs.”
Both teams had seven hits in the contest, but PV’s advantage came in other ways. The Panthers drew seven walks and allowed just two, while Dixie had three errors to just one for the Panthers.
At 6-2 in region, PV is just a game behind Desert Hills with four left. The Panthers hold their fate in their own hands, though, with two games against Cedar next week and then two with Desert Hills to close out the regular season. Pine View has won eight games in a row.
Dixie, which got a fine effort by Hutchings in relief of starter Jaden Rawlings, got two hits from Hansen and Nyberg. But the Flyers have a real battle as they strive for a playoff spot. Dixie (3-5), Canyon View (4-6) and Snow Canyon (3-5) are all two games below .500. The teams should be able to settle things on the field. Dixie faces Snow Canyon next week and then closes the regular season against the Falcons. SC has Dixie and Hurricane remaining and Canyon View has just the two games with Dixie left.
Cedar 14, Hurricane 4
The Redmen pounded out 16 hits, including a pair of three-baggers by triples machine Rykker Tom. He leads the state with six triples in 2015.
Cedar scored in every inning of the mercy-rule shortened game, including four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings. Johnny Jenkins had two doubles for Cedar, which improved to 15-4 overall and 7-3 in region.
The Redmen play two games against Pine View next week, starting with Tuesday’s game at Panther Field.
Hurricane, 5-12 and 0-8, got as triple from Tobie Swenson and a double form Nick Horsley. The Tigers play first-place Desert Hills next week.
Bishop Gorman (Nev.) 10, Snow Canyon 0
The Gaels scored nine runs in the last three innings to beat the Warriors Friday night.
A single by Jake Sargent and a double by Brad Grisenti were the only two hits Snow Canyon could manage against the Bishop Gorman pitching. The Gaels had 13 hits, including five doubles.
Region 9 Baseball Standings
Desert Hills 7-1
Pine View 6-2
Canyon View 4-6
Snow Canyon 3-5
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