ST. GEORGE — The Pine View offense was in full force Tuesday against Snow Canyon. The wind was at full force in Hurricane and the drama was in full force at Dixie High as Region 9 baseball opened up at long last after a prolonged preseason schedule.
The Panthers blew up for 13 runs in just four offensive innings in a mercy-rule win vs. the Warriors. The Thunder took advantage of some wind aid and some shaky Tigers defense for a big win. And Dixie played its first game on its new field with good results with a last-inning victory over the Redmen. Here’s a recap of the night’s action around the region:
Pine View 13, Snow Canyon 1
The Warriors had to be feeling good after scratching across a run in the top of the first inning against Panther ace Dakota Donovan. But for SC, the Garrett Hyde fielder’s choice run was just about the lone highlight of the night.
“All year so far, from the one hitter to the nine hitter, we have just put the ball in play, put the ball in play,” PV coach Troy Wall said. “We’ve been working on a few things in practice, maybe trying to get a little more power and trying to cut down on the strikeouts. Every kid executed and things just dropped for us today.”
Donovan gave up two hits in that first inning, allowing Hyde to give Snow Canyon that momentary lead. But the senior right-hander only gave up one more hit the rest of the game and threw strikeouts on 12 of the 15 outs he recorded. It helped that the Pine View bats were jumping.
“I knew Dakota was going to pitch a great game and we were going to hit the ball, so I wasn’t too worried,” said PV first baseman Brooks Barney. “We’ve been working hard in practice on hitting — a shout out to our coaches. Hopefully we’re prepared for Friday, too.”
The Panthers ended up with 11 hits, including four doubles. Junior Jagun Leavitt had one of those doubles, a two-run extra-base hit in the fourth inning.
“We knew we had a lot of game left when we fell behind in the first inning,” Leavitt said. “We’ve got good pitching and defense and our hitting is decent, so we weren’t too worried. We have a lot of team unity this year. That’s one of our strengths.”
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first, PV took the lead behind speedsters Logan LaFemina and Tyler Johnston. The two led off with singles and moved over to second and third on a tag-up by LaFemina and a stolen base by Johnston. LaFemina then scored on a passed ball and Johnston rushed home on an RBI groundout by Donovan to make it 2-1.
Pine View expanded the lead to 6-1 in the third as Johnston reached on an error and stole second and the Barney singled. Donovan then singled home Johnston to continue a parade of hits that included a Leavitt single and a Jackson Bithell double that plated two runs.
The Warriors threatened with a pair of two-out walks in the top of the fourth, but Donovan picked off a base runner at first to end the threat. The Panthers then put the game away with a seven-run rally in the bottom of the fourth that included three doubles, two walks and two hit batsmen. Donovan struck out the side in the top of the fifth to close out the game.
PV, 8-5 overall and 1-0 in region, will start Barney on the mound Friday at Snow Canyon. The Warriors, 5-8 and 0-1, will likely counter with Breck Eichelberger, though SC will have Brenton Thorpe, Matt Kitchen and Kyle Rogers available.
Dixie 3, Cedar 2
Maybe there’s a little magic in the new Flyers Field for the home team as Dixie rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to stun the Redmen.
“That’s a pretty good win right there,” Dixie coach Danny Ipson said. “We made some great plays in the infield early in the game on balls that could have been hits and we were able to compete and stay in the game until we could make some plays late.”
Duncan Staheli manufactured the first run of the game as Dixie had a brief lead at 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Staheli walked, stole second and then scored on a Cedar error.
But Cedar answered with two runs in the top of the fifth, with Rykker Tom doubling home Travis Tait and then scoring himself on a single by Ryan Slack.
The score would stay 2-1, with Cedar pitcher Kyler Carrizosa and Dixie hurler Tyson Fisher cruising along, until the bottom of the seventh.
Staheli again got things started with a walk, then Cade Christensen laid down a perfect bunt, beating it out to set the Flyers up with runners at first and second and nobody out.
Wyatt Woodland also bunted, this time for sacrifice to put Dixie runners on second and third with one out. Ipson decided to pinch hit, bringing in Payden Harrah. The sophomore delivered a clutch single to right field to tie the game at 2-2.
Another sophomore with a little more varsity experience, Hobbs Nyberg, stepped to the plate. With the outfield drawn in, Nyberg ripped a ball over the right fielder’s head to end the game in walk-off fashion.
“Hobbs drove that one,” Ipson said. “We had a lot of guys step up. That bunt by Christensen was absolutely perfect and Payden coming in and getting a pinch hit was huge.”
Ipson also praised Fisher, who pitched a complete game victory.
“We’ve been working with him to not go so deep into counts, but to pitch a little more to contact,” Ipson said. “That enabled him to stay in the game and it played to our strength, which is defense.”
Fisher and Carrizosa allowed just six hits each and each team committed just one error.
Dixie, 9-2 overall and 1-0 in region, will travel to Cedar for a 4 p.m. game Friday. The Flyers will likely start Trevor Connell. Cedar, 7-7 and 0-1, will probably start Drake Lewis in the second half of the two-game series.
Desert Hills 10, Hurricane 2
The Thunder turned the game around with six runs in the fourth inning to down the Tigers.
Tobie Swenson held DH in check for the first three innings and his teammates rewarded the pitcher with a 2-1 lead. Swenson and Michael Lacy each had run-scoring singles in the first inning for the Tigers.
But, thanks to some timely hitting and a wind-altered playing field, Desert Hills got it going in the top of the fourth.
“They had us on the ropes — Swenson was really keeping us off-balance,” Thunder coach Jerry Beck said. “They made a couple of errors and we had a couple of wind balls that dropped in the fourth. We definitely caught some breaks.”
Quinn Kiser led off the fourth with a hit, then stood on base as the next two batters got out (a fly out and a strikeout). But Swenson struggled with control after that, walking Daniel Arrey, Chance Milne and Trey Allred in succession to force Kiser home with the tying run.
Trey Winget then hit a hot shot to the third baseman, who handled it, but then threw it away on the attempted force. That E5 brought home two runs to make it 4-2. Brayson Hurdsman then stepped up and ripped a two-run double to make it 6-2. Preston Creager then singled to left and Hurdsman came home on another error to make it 7-2.
D-Hills then made it 10-2 with three runs in the top of the fifth, with Trey Winget doubling home two of those runs with a rip to left-center.
“Hurricane’s tough,” Beck said. “The wind definitely affected the way the game was played. It was blowing pretty hard.”
Hurdsman got the win on the mound, scattering seven hits in four innings. Winget pitched two scoreless innings and Konner Blomquist closed out the game with a perfect seventh.
The Thunder had nine hits and took advantage of four Hurricane errors. The Tigers actually had more hits (10), but Hurricane pitching also gave up eight walks.
Hitting stars in the contest were Winget (three hits, two of them doubles) for DH and Alec Flemetackis (three hits, a run scored) for Hurricane.
The Thunder, 6-7 overall and 1-0 in region, will throw Chad Nelson Friday night in their home game against the Tigers. Hurricane, 5-5 and 0-1, will likely send Nick Horsley to the mound. Game time is 7 p.m.
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