ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Flyers got a crucial 8-7 win over the Cedar Redmen Friday night, though they had to crawl through a proverbial minefield to do it.
Cedar rallied for four runs in the seventh inning and only a couple of defensive gems saved the day for the Flyers, who clinched at least fourth place in the region with the win.
Dixie starter Braxton Ipson was cruising along with an 8-3 lead until the final, when things went south in a hurry. Ipson hit a batter and then walked two more, prompting a pitching change to Trevor Cox, who also couldn’t find the zone.
“Braxton was doing really well until the seventh, then he kind of struggled to find the strike zone,” coach Danny Ipson said. “We brought in Cox and he had struggled as well.”
A diving catch by outfielder Tanner Webster saved what could have been a game-winning hit and, moments later, second baseman Anthony Bauman made a diving stop of a hot ground ball, jumped to his feet and gunned down the batter for the final out of the game.
“Those guys saved the game, no doubt,” Ipson said.
Dixie built its big lead with some timely hitting earlier in the game. Down 3-1, the Flyers rallied for three runs in the third on a one-out RBI single by Tyler Strehlow and two-out RBIs by Tyson Graff and Cox to make it 4-3.
Dixie extended its lead to 7-3 with RBIs by Jesse Lambert, Tyson Graff and Cox in the fourth inning. The lead grew to 8-3 when Tyler Strehlow, with his third hit of the game, knocked home his brother Taylor.
“For whatever reason, the ball was carrying well tonight,” Ipson said. “It usually doesn’t here. I was also pleased to see Tyler (Strehlow) hit the ball well. We’ve been waiting for him to break out. We’re just battling to make sure we get into the playoffs and we need some of these guys to contribute.”
Dixie, 15-6 overall and 6-4 in region, could overtake Snow Canyon for second place with a win at SC Tuesday night. But the Flyers also could drop to fourth with two road games the final week. Friday, they are at Canyon View.
Cedar, 10-10 and 4-6, can’t lose again if it wants to make the postseason. The Redmen play at home against Hurricane Tuesday and finish the regular season at Pine View.
Canyon View 3, Pine View 1
The Falcons are also 6-4 in region after squeezing out a close win against the Panthers. Zack Shephard and Dakota Donovan combined to allow just one earned run for Pine View, but Zack Brinkerhoff was even better for Canyon View.
The win for the Falcons 11-7 and 6-4, keeps them right in the thick of the playoff hunt with two games left, at Desert Hills Tuesday and at home vs. Dixie Friday.
Pine View, 6-12 and 2-9, closes the season out next Friday at Cedar.
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