ST. GEORGE — A Desert Hills win and a Pine View loss Friday have guaranteed that the Thunder, for the third straight year, will have their name on the Region 9 trophy. D-Hills beat upset-minded Hurricane before the rains came and Cedar used pitching and defense to knock off Pine View at CHS. A third region game, Snow Canyon at Dixie, was washed out and will be made up next week. Here’s a recap of Friday afternoon’s action:
Desert Hills 6, Hurricane 3
The numbers are impressive: 30-4, three straight region titles.
That’s what’s happened for the Jerry Beck-coached Thunder in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Thirty wins and four losses, two outright region crowns (so far) and at least a share of the 2015 title, pending the results from next week’s two-game set with Pine View.
Friday, DH held off Hurricane for a 6-3 victory, making the Thunder 9-1 in region this season (16-5 overall). With a split or a sweep next week vs. the Panthers, Desert Hills would be the outright champ again. That’s not bad, especially for a team that lost six starting position players and both aces off its pitching staff from last year’s state finalist.
Brayson Hurdsman and Braiden Irvin teamed up for the win on the mound, though the Tigers did get to Hurdsman for three runs in the second inning and led briefly 3-2. But the Thunder answered in the third inning on RBI singles from Cam Winget and Daniel Arrey and sacrifice fly from Trey Winget to make it 5-3. DH added an insurance run in the fifth.
Hurricane,which hasn’t won a region game this season, threatened to make a comeback in the sixth, loading the bases with just one out. But Irvin worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a pop-up to end the potential rally.
The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, but both coaches agreed to move it up to 4 p.m. to try and beat the stormy weather. The decision worked out perfectly.
Though Desert Hills has clinched at least a tie for the region title, the Thunder could lose the No. 1 seed if they drop both games to Pine View next week. The teams meet at Panther Field on Tuesday night and at Thunder Field on Friday night.
Hurricane, 5-14 and 0-10, finishes its season with two games against Snow Canyon next week, starting Tuesday in Hurricane.
Cedar 2, Pine View 1
Future Dixie State pitcher Brecken Lewis was lights out for the Redmen, allowing just five hits and out-dueling Panther Harrison Goebel for the win.
Goebel (who will play college football at Northern Arizona) and relief pitcher Brooks Barney only allowed six hits, but two of them were to Treyson Esplin, an RBI single in the third and an RBI double in the fifth.
Lewis had four strikeouts and kept the ball down on the windy day in Cedar City, inducing ground ball after ground ball. His defense was solid behind him, committing just a single error in the contest.
Esplin’s RBI in the third put Cedar ahead 1-0 as he chased home Rykker Tom with the two-out hit. Goebel’s hit off of Lewis with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth tied the game, though Lewis was able to get out of the bases loaded jam after that.
Esplin put the Redmen ahead for good in the fifth with a double that scored lead-off man Josh Boyer.
Pine View managed just one base runner in the final three innings against the sharp-throwing Lewis.
Cedar has a region bye next week and has finished region play with an 8-4 record (16-5 overall). The Redmen have clinched at least third place and a playoff spot. Cedar will be hoping for a Desert Hills sweep of Pine View next week. The Panthers, 12-8 and 7-3, can tie for first with a sweep, tie for second with a split or settle for third if D-Hills wins both games next week.
PV hosts D-Hills on Tuesday night and goes to DHHS Friday night.
Snow Canyon at Dixie (postponed)
The two teams will make up the rain-out Monday at 7 p.m. at Don Lay Flyers Field.
Current Region 9 Standings
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