Sentinels eye prize as American Legion state tourney begins today

It's time for the state tournament for American Legion baseball. | File photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

KEARNS – Gates Field at Kearns High School has a lot of history, with quotes from famous baseball players like Ernie Banks etched into the concrete walls and a scoreboard that is hand-operated. With a strong pitching staff, the St. George Sentinels hope to make a little of their own history by winning the American Legion state championship for the first time this week on that field.

After allowing zero runs in three victories at the South Region “play-in” tournament last week, the Sentinels are poised for a deep run at State. It begins at 1:30 p.m. today with a matchup against a team that beat them a few weeks ago, the North Cache Titans.

North Cache defeated St. George 6-3 in the championship of the St. George Summer Classic baseball tournament just over a month ago at Bruce Hurst Field. It was part of a five-game run for the Titans in the tourney. North Cache is made up of mostly Sky View High School players, including the tourney MVP, Ryder Lundahl, and is coached by new Sky View head baseball coach Todd Phillips.

The two teams playing today have met before, about a month ago at Hurst Field, St. George Sentinels vs. North Cache, American Legion Baseball, St. George, Ut., June 24, 2017 | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

The Titans did falter in North Region tournament play and ended up as the fourth seed, thus the matchup with the top-seeded Sentinels.

Today’s early game has Helper (third seed) vs. Lone Peak (2) with a 10:30 a.m. first pitch. The 1:30 p.m. Sentinels-Titans game will be followed by a 4:30 p.m. Bear River (3)-Pleasant Grove (2) meeting, with the late game at 7:30 p.m. featuring Layton (No. 1 seed) vs. Vernal (4).

Thursday’s second round has elimination games at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Pleasant Grove and no-loss bracket games at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Gates Field. Elimination games continue Thursday night and Friday morning with the AL state semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday at Pleasant Grove High School. The championship and “if necessary” games are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Gates Field.

The St. George Sentinels, 20-10, are in their fifth year of American Legion play and have placed as high as second and third at state in previous years. They are coached by Shane Johanson and feature a roster of stars and former stars from Hurricane, Pine View, Canyon View and Desert Hills high schools.

American Legion State Tournament
Jul. 26-29 @ Gates Field

Wednesday (first round)
Game 1 – 10:30 a.m. – Helper (S3) vs. Lone Peak (N2)
Game 2 – 1:30 p.m. – St. George (S1) vs. North Cache (N4)
Game 3 – 4:30 p.m. – Pleasant Grove (S2) vs. Bear River (N3)
Game 4 – 7:30 p.m. – Layton (N1) vs. Vernal (S4)

Thursday (elimination)
Game 5 – 10:30 a.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. loser Game 2 (at Pleasant Grove)
Game 6 – 1:30 p.m. – Loser Game 3 vs. loser Game 4 (at Pleasant Grove)
Thursday (no loss)
Game 7 – 11 a.m. – Winner Game 1 vs. winner Game 2 (at Kearns)
Game 8 – 2 p.m. – Winner Game 3 vs. winner Game 4 (at Kearns)
Thursday (elimination)
Game 9 – 4:30 p.m. – Loser Game 7 vs. winner Game 6 (Kearns)
Game 10 – 7:30 p.m. – Loser Game 8 vs. winner Game 5 (Kearns)

Friday (elimination)
Game 11 – 1 p.m. – Winner Game 9 vs. winner Game 10 (PG)
Friday (semifinal)
Game 12 – 4 p.m. – Winner Game 7 vs. winner Game 8 (PG)
Friday (elimination)
Game 13 – 7 p.m. – Winner Game 11 vs. loser Game 12 (PG)

Saturday (championship)
Game 14 – 3 p.m. – Winner Game 12 vs. winner Game 13 (Kearns)
Game 15 (if necessary) – 6 p.m. – rematch if one-loss team wins Game 14 (Kearns)

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