4A state baseball: Dixie soars to win; Snow Canyon stopped by Bear River

Dixie beats Hurricane in a 4A state baseball playoff game, St. George, Utah, May 16, 2022 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The top-seeded Dixie Flyers played as advertised Monday afternoon, cruising to a 13-0 victory over Hurricane in their opening game of the 4A state baseball tournament.

Dixie beats Hurricane in a 4A state baseball playoff game, St. George, Utah, May 16, 2022 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Under a hot sun at Bruce Hurst Field, Dixie scored early and often and soared to the big win over its Region 10 rival.

The Flyers needed only one of the 13 runs they got as left-hander Malcom Bartholomew pitched a gem. The senior recorded six strikeouts, walked none and yielded only four hits in six innings pitched for the shutout.

“Just what we talked about what we wanted with him,” Dixie coach Danny Ipson told the media after the game. “Just to come out, throw strikes, stay ahead in the count, win the two-strike battles, and you know he did that and was effective all day.”

Logan Leavitt batted 2-for-4 in the game and drove in an early Dixie run with his infield single in the first.

The Flyers tacked on two unearned runs after wild pitches and Blake Watson collected an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, giving Bartholomew a four-run cushion after one inning.

“We wanted to win that first inning and go after it and get it,” Ipson said. “The first win is always the hardest one to get. They executed and I thought we played good defense as well.” 

Dixie went on to lead 6-0 after the second inning and 7-0 after the third.

Boston Vest put the cherry on top of the win with his grand slam in the sixth and final inning. Vest finished with five RBIs in the victory.

Up next for the Region 10 champions is a second-round matchup against Region 11 opponent Bear River.

“They’re always competitive,” Ipson said. “They’ll compete to the very end so we’re going to have to play our very best to get those guys.”

The Flyers and Bears are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bruce Hurst Field.

Bear River 12, Snow Canyon 3 

The Bears advanced behind steady starting pitching and a balanced offense.

Bear River beats Snow Canyon in a 4A state baseball playoff game, St. George, Utah, May 16, 2022 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

“They’re solid, they put the ball in play,” Snow Canyon coach Reed Secrist said. “We walked a lot of guys, put a lot of guys on base and that’s tough to do. But they’re obviously a good baseball team, they do all the little things right.” 

Logan Mendenhall scored on a wild pitch and Isaac Lyon drove in a run as the Warriors took a 2-1 lead after the first inning.

But then Hunter Smoot hit a three-run home run in the second inning and Bear River took a lead it would never let go of at 4-2.

Bear River broke the game open in the top of the third, scoring six runs to take command. Smoot again did the damage with a two-run double to the wall. Then starting pitcher Hunter Harrow doubled and cleared the bases to give the Bears a 10-2 lead.

Harrow pitched every inning but the last, yielding only four hits in the victory.

Snow Canyon, the defending 4A champions, slipped into the loser’s bracket and will play Hurricane Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Bruce Hurst Field.

“This is fun. You get to play every day, you’re gonna play a lot of baseball,” Secrist said. “You lose and you go home. You just got to let it all out and they’ll be fine. We just got to keep one game at a time. We’ve got a chance to get back on track.”

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