ST. GEORGE — Pine View and Desert Hills stayed red-hot and Snow Canyon kept its playoff hopes alive as all three home teams won Tuesday night in Region 9 baseball action.
None of the games were particularly close as the Panthers won their ninth straight by defeating Cedar, the Thunder blitzed Hurricane for their sixth in a row and Snow Canyon defeated Dixie to move into fourth place and grab the inside track to the final playoff spot. Here’s a recap of the action:
Pine View 8, Cedar 2
Dakota Donovan battled through some stomach issues to pitch six shutout innings and Logan LaFemina had three hits as the Panthers led this game wire to wire.
The Panthers limped into region play with a 3-5 preseason record and then promptly lost two straight to Snow Canyon, but the miserable start is a fading memory to a team that has won nine straight games, including seven in region.
“We’re really hitting the ball well and putting the ball in play,” PV coach Mike Gargano said. “Looking back at the last 10 games or so, I think we’ve had nine or 10 hits in all but one of those. And Dakota tonight did what Dakota does. He wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t even find out about it until the second inning when he came into the dugout and said he thought he was going to throw up. But he battled through it and got the job done.”
Donovan allowed just three hits in six innings of work. But even though he pitched well, he was clearly off his game a bit.
“I was just really weak out there,” he said. “Just right before the game my stomach started feeling really bad. I definitely wasn’t throwing as hard as I usually do. I learned a new pitch this week and I threw it a lot. It’s kind of a spike curve, like Andy Pettite throws.”
It helped that the junior hurler was given an early lead by his teammates. The Panthers pushed home two runs in the second inning and four more in the fourth. Pine View knocked in two more in the sixth and led 8-0 before a late rally for Cedar got the goose egg off the scoreboard.
The rally in the second started when Brooks Barney was hit by a pitch, then Conner Clark singled. Hunter Hansen followed with a rip to left that scored Barney with the first run of the game. A sacrifice fly later in the inning by Blake Ence brought Clark home and made it 2-0.
Except for a couple of walks, Donovan had it on cruise control on the mound for PV. The Panthers turned the game into a runaway with four in the fourth, with Clark starting the inning with a solo home run to left field that left the yard in a hurry. Later in the inning, LaFemina laced a two-run single to right-center that scored Ence and Kash Walker, making it 5-0. Tyler Johnston scored moments later on a Cedar wild pitch.
Johnston had an RBI double and LaFemina added a run-scoring single in the sixth for Pine View, which pounded out 10 hits off the Cedar pitching staff.
Cedar scored two runs in the seventh on a home run by Braden Lasson after Donovan was done for the night. The Redmen had a win streak of their own going before Tuesday’s loss. Cedar had won six straight region games since starting league play 12-3.
Pine View, 12-7 overall and 7-2 in region, got three hits from LaFemina and two each from Johnston, Clark and Hansen. For Clark, who is overcoming a back injury, it’s his third homer of the season, but the second in as many games. The Panthers have three games remaining, including Friday’s 4 p.m. rematch at Cedar.
The Redmen, 15-5 and 7-4, are done with region after Friday’s game and will play two non-league games next week. Both teams have clinched a playoff spot and can finish no worse than 7-5. Likely starters for Friday’s rematch are Harrison Goebel for Pine View and Brecken Lewis for Cedar.
Desert Hills 9, Hurricane 1
Kayson Bowler had his no-hitter broken up with one out in the seventh inning on a single by Tobie Swensen as the Thunder walked off with the dominant win.
Bowler had walked four batters, but allowed no hits and struck out 11 Tigers heading into the seventh. With one out, Swensen stepped up and lined a hit to right field to break up the no-no. Bowler, who had thrown 117 pitches, was then pulled and Swensen eventually scored on a wild pitch by reliever Braiden Irvin.
The Desert Hills offense gave Bowler plenty of support. The Thunder scored in five of their six at-bats in the game and Wyatt Bendall and Brayson Hurdsman both homered. DH had eight hits and drew seven walks.
The Thunder scored three in the first inning. Hurdsman hit a two-run shot with Irvin aboard and Bendall followed with a solo bomb to center field. Trey Allred scored on a passed ball in the second and Hunter Staley hit a sac fly to bring home Cam Winget in the third, making it 5-0.
In the fifth, Trey Winget had an RBI walk with the bases loaded and Irvin had a sac fly that scored Staley to make it 7-0. Chad Nelson and Daniel Arrey each scored on passed balls in the sixth to make it 9-0. The Thunder had eight of their nine starting position players score in the game.
D-Hills, 15-5 overall and 8-1 in region, is still in first place, a game ahead of Pine View. The two teams meet for a two-game set next week. The Thunder have won six straight and 10 of the last 11 games.
Hurricane, 5-13 and 0-9, has DH at home Friday and then a final series next week vs. Snow Canyon.
Snow Canyon 11, Dixie 1
A huge third inning blew open this one as Snow Canyon scored seven runs in that stanza and never looked back.
Two Jakes — Sargent and Frei — did it all for the Warriors. Sargent pitched five innings of three-hit ball and also knocked in a pair of runs from his lead-off spot and Frei reached base three times and had three runs batted in for SC.
Tied 1-1 heading into the third inning, Snow Canyon brought 12 men to the plate in scoring seven runs off of six hits and three walks. Austin Deming, Brad Grisenti, Nick Dolce and Chance Thorkleson all hit singles to start the third, with Thorkleson’s bringing home two runs. Deming also had a two-run double later in the inning.
The Warriors added three runs in the fourth, with two Dixie errors opening the door for the rally. The Flyers failed to cut into the 11-1 deficit in the fifth and the 10-run mercy rule was invoked.
Snow Canyon, 13-7 overall and 4-5 in region play, inches ahead of Dixie (3-6 in region) and Canyon View (4-6) in the race for the final playoff spot from the region. The Warriors play at Dixie Friday night and then finish the season with two games against Hurricane.
Dixie, which got a double from Chaz Hansen in the game, will likely have to win out in its final three games to have a chance at the playoffs. After Friday’s rematch with SC, the Flyers face the Falcons in the final series of the season.
Current Region 9 Standings:
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