A bizarre ending in the Pine View-Hurricane game Tuesday night had fans, coaches and players scratching their heads in the Panthers 4-3 victory. Meanwhile, Desert Hills got a huge performance from its ace pitcher to pull even with Dixie for second place in the region, and Snow Canyon erupted for a mercy-rule win at Cedar. Here’s a recap:
Pine View 4, Hurricane 3
The strange ending shouldn’t take away from the fact that it was an excellent ball game. That being said, it’s not too often a game ends on a runner’s interference call.
Hurricane entered the bottom of the seventh down just one run to the heavily-favored Panthers. Against PV ace Dakota Donovan, the Tigers managed to get runners on first and second with one out and Michael Lacy at the plate. Lacy hit a slow bouncer to second that was fielded by PV’s Logan Lafemina. He quickly tossed it to second to get the force there, but the relay throw to first base was way late and it looked like the Tigers would get one last out with the tying run at third and Nick McDaniel coming to the plate.
McDaniel would never get there, however, as the base umpire ruled offensive interference on the Hurricane base runner that was heading to second base. The ump said the runner never slid, thus creating an obstruction on the relay throw. End result: batter out, game over.
“That’s a tough way to end a game,” Pine View coach Troy Wall said. “We’ll take it, but man, that’s a tough way for it to end.”
All but one of the runs in the game came in the first three innings as Pine View took advantage of several Hurricane errors to score a run in the first, another in the second and two more in the third . The Panthers held a 4-2 edge after three.
After that, Hurricane starter Tobie Swenson settled into a groove and Pine View reliever Dakota Donovan came in and started to cruise as well.
Neither team scored in the fourth or fifth inning and Donovan looked nearly unhittable until the sixth. A one-out single by McDaniel was followed by a two-out walk from Lucas Stout. Noah Humphrey then singled to load the bases and McDaniel came home moments later on a wild pitch to make it 4-3 before Donovan was able to quell the threat with a strikeout.
The Panthers got a couple of men on in the top of the seventh, but HHS reliever Alec Flemetakis recorded consecutive Ks to send the game into the bottom of the seventh at 4-3.
Swenson and Nick Horsley both got on base with one out before the controversial fielder’s choice ended the game.
Though Pine View came away with the win, the Tigers earned the respect of the defending state champions.
“I think some of our guys thought Hurricane would roll over, but not me,” Donovan said. “That’s a good Hurricane team and I knew that. They play tough. We’re going to have to come out Friday and play hard and clean up some of the mistakes we made.”
Pine View, 11-4 overall and 3-0 in region play, had just five hits in the game, two of those by Donovan. Three of the four PV runs were earned, with Lafemina, Donovan and Jagun Leavitt each picking up RBIs. PV had six batters thrown out on the base paths, including two at home plate and two caught stealing.
“We made too many mistakes, especially on the base paths,” said PV catcher Jackson Bithell.
The Tigers, 7-6 and 1-2, had nine hits in the game, with Flemetakis, Horsley, McDaniel and Humphrey collecting two each. Two of the three Hurricane runs were unearned.
The two teams will meet again Friday at the new Panther Field in St. George. Game time is 7 p.m. with Kyle Williams expected to start for Hurricane and Brooks Barney or Connor Clark expected to start for Pine View.
Desert Hills 3, Dixie 1
Brayson Hurdsman pitched a complete-game, allowing no walks and just a single earned run in the Thunder’s win.
“The game was well-pitched on both sides,” said DH coach Jerry Beck. “Hurdsman kind of put our team on his back and carried us to a win. After Monday’s loss to Hurricane, we needed our senior captain to get us back on track.”
With the exception of one inning, the third, Dixie’s Tyson Fisher was nearly flawless on the mound as well. He allowed just four hits in the game, but three of those came in a pivotal three-run third inning for the Thunder.
Trey Allred started the rally with a double. No. 9 hitter Chance Milne then broke the scoreless tie with a single to right field, scoring Allred. Trey Winget was hit by a pitch and Hurdsman loaded the bases with an infield single.
After a strikeout, Chad Nelson and Quinn Kiser then picked up RBIs with Nelson being hit by a pitch and Kiser drawing a bases loaded walk to make it 3-0.
“Both Allred and Milne have been struggling as of late, but they came up big for us in that third inning,” Beck said. “We needed that lift they gave us.”
The game stayed at 3-0, with both Fisher and Hurdsman fairly well dominating, until the seventh. Dixie put together some offense in that last inning, with pinch hitter Payden Harrah leading off with a single. Hurdsman was able to induce a groundout and a fly out, but also uncorked a wild pitch to score Harrah and make it 3-1.
Fisher then singled and moved over to second on a single by Trevor Connell. Hurdsman finally finished the game by getting a strikeout, recording his third win of the season.
“It was one of those grinder games in Region 9 and we were fortunate to pull it out,” Beck said. “We kind of made it interesting in the seventh inning, but I like how we regrouped tonight after losing Monday.”
Desert Hills improves to 7-9 overall with the win, 2-1 in region play. The Thunder committed three errors in the game.
Dixie, 10-3 and 2-1, left 10 men on base in the game. Fisher struck out eight, but also walked two and hit five DH batters.
The two teams meet up again at the new Flyer Field Friday at 7 p.m. Dixie will likely start Connell, while DH will probably counter with Nelson. The game can be heard on SportsRadio 97.7 FM.
Snow Canyon 13, Cedar 2
A lot of things were startling about this game: Snow Canyon, which managed just three runs in two games vs. Pine View, hit the ball around the yard. Cedar, which finished second in the state last season, is now 0-3 in region play. The Redmen, who were 5-1 in home region games last year, are now 0-2 at home in 2016.
“We played pretty much mistake-free,” said SC skipper Reed Secrist. “We did a lot of good things with the bats. We talked Monday about shortening our swings and putting the ball in play and then we went out and did that.”
Snow Canyon did make a couple of mistakes, allowing Cedar to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. But the Warriors struck for eight runs in the top of the third to grab the lead for good. The eight runs came on seven hits, plus two Cedar errors. Jackson Nowatzke and Brock Staheli doubled in the rally and Davis Rigby had a pinch hit RBI single.
Nick Dolce held the Redmen down in the bottom of the third and Snow Canyon struck again in the fourth, this time chasing home five runs to make it 13-2. Jake Mack had a two-run single in that rally and Dolce singled home a run. In all, Snow Canyon had 15 hits and took advantage of three Cedar errors.
“We just kept stringing hits together,” Secrist said. “All nine guys in the line-up had at least one hit and I thought Staheli and Nowatzke hit the ball really well. It’s huge when your seniors start doing stuff for you like that.”
Kaleb Gates finished as the hits leader with three, while Mack, Staheli and Nowatzke had two each. Dolce pitched all five innings of the shortened game, scattering six hits and picking up his third win of the year.
The Warriors, 6-9 overall and 1-2 in region, only struck out three times in 34 at bats.
Cedar, 7-9 and 0-3, got two hits each from Travis Tait and Kyler Carrizosa.
The two teams will meet again Friday with a 7 p.m. game at Warrior Field.
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