ST. GEORGE — There will be another big group of baseball teams in town this weekend with four different tournaments taking place in Utah’s Dixie. Desert Hills got an early start by kicking off the Foot and Ankle Institute Invitational Thursday, beating Foothill (Nev.) and then losing to Northridge.
Along with that tourney, Dixie will be hosting the Kent Garrett Dixie Sunshine Classic, Pine View will be the host school at the Red Rock Classic (most games will be played at Dixie State’s Hurst Field) and Snow Canyon will be hosting the Snow Canyon Classic. More on the tournaments and schedules at the bottom of this story.
“We came out against a good Foothill team and I really like the way we swung the bats and competed in that game,” Thunder coach Jerry Beck said. “Against Northridge, it was a great ball game for five innings and then we kind of let the wheels come off in the sixth.”
Against the Knights, it was an excellent pitcher’s duel between DH’s Brayson Hurdsman and Northridge’s Josh Brown. Through five innings, the two had combined to allow just six hits and three runs, and only two of those earned. Brown’s Knights held a 2-1 advantage on the scoreboard as both teams turned to their bullpens to finish the game.
For Desert Hills, that was bad news on this night. The trio of Alex Eakins, Konner Blomquist and Blake Milne just couldn’t seem to get the Knights out in the top of the sixth.
To lead off, Jake Porter was safe after a dropped third strike, then Jacob Rhoades walked, followed by another base on balls drawn by Gavin Poll. A Ryker Kap single plated one run and made it 3-1, though Rhoades was out at home trying to score on the play. A wild pitch scored Poll to make it 4-1, then Ryan Cleverly singled Kap home and it was 5-1.
After two hit batters loaded the bases, Kyzer Armenderiz then stepped to the plate and singled home two more to make it 7-1. Desert Hills rallied for two in the bottom of the seventh, including an RBI double by Hurdsman, but fell short of the comeback.
“It’s like I told the guys, bottom line is we’re looking for nine guys that want to put it on the line and compete,” Beck said, following a lengthy postgame meeting with his team. “We want guys to go out there and give everything they have and compete at all costs.”
The big rally came after Desert Hills had just missed a chance to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the fifth. The Thunder left Sam Rhoton at third in that inning and went down with the bases loaded in the fourth. In all, DH left 11 men on base in the contest.
In the opening win against Foothill, Desert Hills feasted on Falcons pitching, ending the game in the sixth inning via the 10-run mercy-rule.
Chad Nelson got the win and DH got a good hitting performance from Sam Rhoton, among others.
“I’m always trying to look for my pitch, whether it’s early in the count or if I’m working with the pitcher the whole time,” Rhoton said. “We played pretty well, although we need to do a better job when we have guys on base.”
Desert Hills, 2-4 on the season, will take Friday off as other teams compete in the Foot and Ankle Institute tourney on their field, but will play two games on Saturday. The Thunder battle Kearns at 10 a.m. and Westlake at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Hurricane 8, Beaver 1 (Wednesday)
Hurricane 4, Kanab 0
Hurricane allowed just one run and eight hits in the two victories. A seven-run fifth against the Beavers proved the difference in that contest.
The Tigers are at Kanab Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) and then home for Canyon View Wednesday for a 7 p.m. first pitch.
As for the big tourneys this weekend, here’s a glance at the games involving our local teams:
Kent Garrett Dixie Sunshine Classic – Dixie vs. Timpanogas, 1 p.m. (@ DHS); Dixie vs. Fremont, 7 p.m. (@ DHS).
Red Rock Classic (@ DSU) – Pine View vs. American Fork, 9:30 a.m.; Cedar-AF, noon; Cedar vs. Pleasant Grove, 2:30 p.m.; Pine View vs. Spanish Fork, 5 p.m.
Snow Canyon Classic – Judge Memorial at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.; Weber at SC, 9:30 p.m.
Foot and Ankle Instititue Invitational — Kearns at Desert Hills, 10 a.m.; Westlake at DH, 7 p.m.
Kent Garrett Dixie Sunshine Classic – Dixie-Wasatch, 1; later games to be determined (championship game at 7 p.m.)
Red Rock Classic (@ DSU) – Cedar-Pine View, 9:30 a.m.; PV-Pleasant Grove, noon; Cedar-Spanish Fork, 2:30 p.m.
Snow Canyon Classic – Opponents tbd, beginning at 9 a.m.
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