4A state baseball: Snow Canyon sticks to script, rides pitching, defense to state championship

WEST JORDAN — For the second day in a row, the baseball team from Snow Canyon got a dominant pitching performance and just enough runs to beat Dixie 5-2 and claimed the 4A state championship Saturday at Cate Field at Salt Lake Community College.

It was the same site that hosted Snow Canyon’s most recent previous state title four years ago. The Warriors finished the next two seasons with back-to-back runnerup finishes.

“Every time we step on the field we expect the same thing. We expect the W. That’s all we care for,” senior Talan Kelly told St. George News after he pitched his second save in as many days to clinch the state championship.

“There were 15 of us in the senior class. We grew up together,” Kelly said, noting that actually it was 13 seniors that ended up being on the team. “Everybody on the team is so special. We all have that connection. We know where everybody is going to be at all times.” 

Kelly walked one batter, struck out another and allowed one hit in his one inning of work to get the save on Saturday.

Snow Canyon pitcher Andrew Lyon throws to first base in the 4A state baseball championship, West Jordan, Utah, May 18, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

He relieved starting pitcher Andrew Lyon, who put up a winning line of six innings pitched, allowing two runs on four hits. The junior righthander walked three batters and struck out five more.

“I felt good. My offense swung it great again and our defense played great. I felt pretty comfortable on the mound,” Lyon said. “It’s good to have that confidence in who’s behind me (Kelly). If I struggle he’s going to come in and do great.”

Scoring opportunities were rare and runs were at a premium as the teams combined for 12 total hits in the contest.

All of the scoring in the game occurred in three half-innings.

Dixie took its first lead of the championship series when Boston Vest hit a hard single for two RBIs in the bottom of the second and the Flyers went ahead 2-0.

Snow Canyon grabbed the lead right back in the top of the third after senior Ryder Harrison smacked a bases-clearing double for three RBIs and a 3-2 advantage.

Harrison came back in the top of the fourth with a double that plated two more Snow Canyon runs and provided the final margin.

Dixie batter Ridge Erickson is it by a pitch in the 4A state baseball championship, West Jordan, Utah, May 18, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Both Snow Canyon pitchers were supported by sparkling, error-free defense behind them.

The Warriors turned a nifty 6-4-3 double play to get out of a jam in the bottom of the third.

And center fielder Corbin Hafen made the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the fifth, ranging far to his right and making a diving catch to rob Dixie’s Carter Turley of a hit.

Dixie had chances in the game but hurt themselves with three fielding errors and the Flyers offense left a total of 10 runners stranded on base.

“We came out and were just a couple of plays short,” Dixie coach Danny Ipson said. “Get a hit here, get a hit there, maybe things are different for us. The boys came out and competed all year long and did everything I asked them to do, so that’s all you can ask.”

While Dixie didn’t get the result they wanted, nearly all of the seniors on the team are going on to play ball in college, led by Vest (New Mexico State) and Ridge Erickson (Brigham Young University).

“It’s just a matter of telling them when to show up and they make things happen,” Ipson said. “And that’s what it’s all about is their leadership and their ability to be that way on and off the field. Just good kids, I love them to death and they’ll be successful in whatever they do.”

Snow Canyon wins the 4A state baseball championship over Dixie, West Jordan, Utah, May 18, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

The moment was special for Snow Canyon coach Reed Secrist, who collected his fifth state baseball championship in 20 years as Warriors manager.

Secrist said his biggest thrill was seeing all the former players who traveled from St. George or from elsewhere to share the moment with the Warriors in West Jordan.

“To make that trip and come up and support these guys and Snow Canyon baseball, it’s a huge community with a lot of people in it, and I’m just happy to be able to continue to roll these boys through it,” Secrist said.

Snow Canyon and Dixie finished the baseball season with identical records of 27-5, but it was the Warriors who hoisted the 4A state championship trophy.

Photo Gallery

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2024, 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!