ST. GEORGE – Snow Canyon didn’t get a win Tuesday night against Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman, but the Warriors got something almost as good: Confidence.
Snow Canyon fought back repeatedly against the Gaels, overcoming a four-run deficit late, before falling in eight innings 13-9. The Warriors even had what would have been the go-ahead run cross the plate, only to have the play ruled dead. More on that in a minute.
“I wanted these guys to realize that they can play with a Bishop Gorman team,” SC coach Reed Secrist said. “It’s a good game to get in before we start our region. I think it’s a game that can give us some confidence.”
The gritty comeback should do just that for the Warriors, although the start of the game could have shaken SC’s confidence. In the first two innings, Bishop Gorman socked three home runs and built a 4-0 lead.
“It’s hard when have a great team like this coming in here and the wind’s blowing out 120 miles an hour,” Secrist said. “You know they’re going to get the ball in the air and do some damage that way, and they did right off the bat.”
The confidence-building started in the bottom of the second. Down 4-0, SC loaded the bases with a couple of hits and a hit batsman. Kaleb Gates got the Warriors on the board with a single to center and Jamison Day hit a sacrifice fly to bring home another run and make it 4-2.
“We have great energy and high intensity,” Day said. “I love that about this team. Coach Secrist always tells us to get up there and battle — put the ball in play.”
The Gaels scored two in the third to make it 6-2. Austin Deming, who has been on fire so far this season, opened the bottom of the third with a solo homer to center to make it 6-3. But BGHS grabbed its biggest lead of the night in the top of the fourth with a fourth homer and an RBI single to make it 8-3.
“I commend my guys with sticking with it and grinding and grinding and grinding,” Secrist said. “They showed some fight and I’m proud of that.”
The comeback started in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single by Deming that brought home Seth Smith. Day, who had three walks in the game, scored later in the fourth on a wild pitch to make it 8-5.
It was 9-5 when the Warriors came to bat in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, a Deming single loaded the bases and Cannon Secrist followed with a two-run single to make it 9-7. A walk by Braden Baker loaded the bases again and the next hitter, Zach Nowatzke, was hit by a pitch to force home a run and make it 9-8.
Jed Jensen then stepped up and hit a hard ground ball to short that was bobbled momentarily and then tossed to second for a fielder’s choice. Secrist scored on the play to tie the game at 9-9.
With runners at the corners, an inside pitch to Stephen Gubler got past the catcher and Baker came home with what appeared to be the go-ahead run. But the umpire ruled that the pitch grazed Gubler, which sent Baker back to third and loaded the bases. The next batter popped out to end the inning.
“Honestly, if that ball doesn’t hit Gubler’s shirt as it went by, we win that game,” Secrist said. “Baker scores and it’s 10-9 and we get the three outs in the top of the seventh and it’s game over.”
Neither team even got a base runner in the seventh, but the Gaels had five hits and four runs in the eighth to put the game away.
Deming led the Warriors with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Gates had two hits and an RBI and Cannon Secrist had two RBIs in the game. Jensen took the loss on the mound.
Snow Canyon, 8-5, has completed its preseason schedule and will next play against Cedar in a two-game set next Tuesday and Friday to open region play. Tuesday’s game is at Cedar and will start at 4 p.m. The Friday game is at Warrior Field and begins at 7 p.m.
Bishop Gorman, 7-1, got four hits, including a homer, from Jorel Hingada.
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