Prep baseball: Big wins by Thunder, Warriors, Panthers to open region play

ST. GEORGE – The scores were almost stunning in their one-sidedness Tuesday night as Desert Hills, Snow Canyon and Pine View all took big wins on the first night of Region 9 play.

The Thunder, with a lot of help from a shaky Dixie defense, shocked the Flyers on their home field. The Warriors defended their home turf with a shutout over Cedar. And Pine View put up the most runs of the night in blowing past Hurricane.

Here’s a look at the night’s action:

Desert Hills 11, Dixie 4

Call Chad Nelson “Mr. Unflappable.”

The Desert Hills pitcher gave up a two-run home run in the first inning – and not much else – in hurling a complete-game victory over the hard-hitting Flyers.

“Chad has just consistently become more and more mature each year,” Thunder coach Chris Allred said. “We had a game earlier this season where a kid in the first inning hit one out on him and he yawned. He yawned and then he came back and just mowed them down the rest of the game and shut them out.”

Desert Hills’ Chad Nelson (18), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Nelson gave up a triple off the center field fence to Hobbs Nyberg and then a home run to Tyson Fisher to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead in the first. After that, the senior right-hander allowed just four hits and one earned run the rest of the game.

“I knew they were going to hit, but I also knew that there was a lot of ball left to be played,” Nelson said. “They really swing the bats, but I just wanted to come back and limit them the rest of the way. I made a mistake, but it was just one pitch and I can’t let one pitch affect how I pitch the rest of the game.”

Desert Hills’ Chad Nelson (18), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

It probably also helped that Nelson’s teammates answered right away on the offensive side. In the top of the second, Trey Allred singled home a run and another crossed the plate on the second Dixie error of the inning.

In the third, Sam Rhoton came home on an RBI by Quinn Kiser to put D-Hills ahead 3-2. Dixie tied it in the bottom half with an RBI single by Payden Harrah.

The Thunder retook the lead in the top of the fourth after yet another error by Dixie (the Flyers had six in the game) and then Konner Blomquist crossed the plate on a passed ball, making it 4-3.

But the tight contest turned into a runaway in the fifth. Blomquist had an RBI single to make it 5-3 and then consecutive bases loaded walks pushed it to 7-3. After an RBI ground out by Seth Betts, Rhoton put the game squarely in DH’s hands with a two-run double to right field that made it 10-3. Nelson then singled home Rhoton and it was 11-3.

A late home run by Dayton Dempsey was the only offense Dixie could muster the rest of the way against Nelson.

Dixie’s Wyatt Woodland (20) is called out at home, Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

“We just made sure to keep our heads up, even though we got behind early,” Rhoton said. “We’ve done this two or three times already this season. We just know if we put the ball in play and battle, we know we can come out on top.”

Fisher took the loss on the mound, though he gave up just three hits in 4.1 innings. His defense let him down with all those errors, but he also had six walks and threw three wild pitches. Fisher threw 110 pitches, but only half of those were strikes.

Allred led Desert Hills with three RBIs, while Nelson and Rhoton had two each. Nelson had two hits, while Rhoton and Quinn Kiser scored two runs each.

“Dixie’s still a really good team,” Nelson said. “They hit the crap out of the ball. They just made a few errors tonight. But we feel good. It’s always nice to win the first game of a series. But we’ve got to know they’re going to come back Friday even harder and we’ve got to play just as good, if not better.”

Desert Hills, 11-2 overall and 1-0 in region, had six hits and seven walks in the game. The Thunder host Dixie at 7 p.m. Friday.

Dixie, 11-2 and 0-1, had two singles, a triple and two homers for the five hits in the game. Sophomore Ajay Leavitt pitched two scoreless innings of relief to end the game.

Snow Canyon 6, Cedar 0

Breck Eichelberger had the kind of night every pitcher dreams about at night. The junior hurler was in control from the first pitch and never let the Redmen get something going.

In fact, Eichelberger in winning his third game of the year, never let Cedar get a base runner past second base. He allowed just three singles and a walk in the complete-game victory, retiring Cedar in order in five of the game’s seven innings.

Snow Canyon’s Breck Eichelberger (19), file photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

His night went like this: A two-out single in the first; three up, three down in the second; a lead-off single in the third, followed by a successful pickoff and two more outs; three up, three down in the fourth; a one-out single and a two-out walk in the fifth, but a strikeout to end the mini-jam; and then six up and down in the sixth and seventh to complete the 81-pitch masterpiece.

In the meantime, Snow Canyon grabbed an early lead in the bottom of the second when speedy lead-off man Jamison Day walked, stole second, was balked to third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Cannon Secrist.

The lead grew to 3-0 in the fourth as Travis Davenport singled and later scored on a balk and Davis Rigby batted home Seth Smith with a sac fly.

Secrist scored on a Cedar error in the fifth to make it 4-0 and the final icing on the cake came in the sixth when Davis Rigby singled home Smith and Braden Baker knocked home Day to make it 6-0. With Eichelberger on cruise control, the lead was more than enough to clinch the victory.

Baker and Kaleb Gates had two hits each for the Warriors, while Rigby had a couple of RBIs and Austin Deming drew three walks. Snow Canyon, 9-5 overall and 1-0 in region, visits Cedar for a 4 p.m. game Friday.

The Redmen, 5-5 and 0-1, got their three hits from Jaden Hulet, Chase Houston and McClain Anderson. Anderson also walked. It’s the first time this season Cedar has been shutout.

Pine View 14, Hurricane 5

The first six batters reached base safely in the sixth inning and all six came in to score as the Panthers broke open a 7-5 game with a seven-run sixth en route to the home win Tuesday night.

It was a strange game in that Pine View was seemingly in control with a 7-1 lead through four innings. But the Tigers finally got to Panther starter Jagun Leavitt in the fifth.

Tobie Swenson started the rally with an RBI single to make it 7-2 and Michael Lacy followed with a two-run triple to cut it to 7-4. Tanner Staheli came on in relief and gave up a sac fly to Logan Campbell to make it 7-5. Staheli then got a strikeout to end the threat with a small lead.

Pine View’s Ryke Erickson (4), file photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Staheli, who went 2.2 innings and allowed no hits or walks, held Hurricane in the top of the sixth, setting up the big PV clinching rally.

It started with a double by Ryke Erickson and an RBI triple by Leavitt that made it 8-5. Leavitt scored on a grounder by Makai Maclellan and, later in the inning, Luke Green got an RBI to make it 10-5. A Tiger error brought home two more runs and the Panthers scored another two runs on RBIs by Erickson and Maclellan. PV brought 13 men to the plate in the sixth and scored seven times.

For the game, Erickson had four hits, including two doubles, and Dawson Staheli had three hits for PV. Tanner Staheli and Jarod Stirling had three RBIs each as the Panthers improved to 7-5 overall and 1-0 in region. Leavitt got the win and Tanner Staheli got the save for PV.

Hurricane, 6-7 and 0-1, had just six hits, with Lacy accounting for two of those. The Tigers’ only lead was at 1-0 in the first inning.

The two teams meet again Friday at Hurricane High School. The game can be heard on ESPN SportsRadio 97.7 FM.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.