CEDAR CITY — The Dixie Flyers made all the right plays Thursday night to stun Cedar 5-3 on the Redmen’s own field and complete a Week 1 sweep of Cedar High.
“This is the way we want it,” Dixie coach Danny Ipson said. “Good pitching, great defense and low-scoring games where our hitters have a chance to win it for us late.”
Dixie scored two run in the top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie on a Hobbs Nyberg double down the line and Kayler Yates came in to save the game in the seventh as Dixie improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in region. The Flyers were 3-9 last season in region play.
“You know, it goes back to that same thing — there is no easy game or set of games in Region 9,” Ipson said. “We didn’t go in thinking this was going to be a hard series or an easy series. We just wanted to take care of the things we can control. There is no easy night in this region.”
Cedar led 2-0 early on, with Dixie tying the score in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run double by Dayton Dempsey.
A two-out, bases-loaded walk by Dixie starter Trevor Connell gave the Redmen the lead back at 3-2 in the fourth inning.
The Flyers tied the score in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Tyson Fisher and Connell. The score stayed tied at 3-3 until the seventh.
Dixie led off the top of the inning with a hit by Cade Christensen. He went to second when Wyatt Woodland was hit by a pitch. Payden Harrah then executed a perfect bunt to move the runners up to second and third with just one out. Nyberg, batting lefty, then ripped the ball down the right field line to make it 5-3.
Connell came out in the seventh and got himself in a little bit of trouble. Cedar loaded the bases with just one out, prompting Ipson to bring in reliever Yates. He pitched just four pitches. With Kyler Carrizosa at the plate, Yates worked the count to 1-2. Carrizosa then laced a hard liner to center field that looked like it would clear center fielder Dempsey’s head.
But Dempsey jumped and made a game-saving catch. He completed the dramatic ending to the game by hurling the ball to second base to catch the Cedar base runner off the bag for a game-ending double play.
“Carrizosa hit that one pretty hard, but we were able to make the play,” Ipson said. “It was an exciting ending.”
Dixie has won five straight games and has not given up more than four runs in any of its 10 wins this year. The Flyers will take the rest of the weeknd off and prepare for next week’s two-game series with Desert Hills. Tuesday night is at DH and Friday is at Dixie. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Cedar falls to 7-8 overall and 0-2 in region. The Redmen, who finished second in state last year and were picked to finish second in region this season, will battle Snow Canyon next week. Tuesday is at SC (7 p.m.) and Friday is at Cedar (4 p.m.).
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