Snow Canyon grabs inside track to playoffs with win at Don Lay Flyers Field

Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 27, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Nick Dolce battled through some early-inning struggles and pitched a complete-game 7-4 victory for Snow Canyon as the Warriors captured a key road win at Dixie Monday night in a game that had been postponed due to the rain this past weekend.

snow-canyon-smdixie-smDolce gave up four runs in the first four innings, then settled in for three innings of no-hit, no-walk baseball.

“He’s just a battler,” SC coach Reed Secrist said. “He settled down and we were able to help him out defensively late in the game. It was good to see the offense give him some support as well.”

Nick Dolce (2) on the mound for Snow Canyon, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 27, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Nick Dolce (2) on the mound for Snow Canyon, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 27, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Dolce had a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth, but surrendered three hits and a walk in that inning, including a two-run double by Tyson Fisher. When the dust had cleared, Dixie had tied it at 4-4 and it was anybody’s game with three innings to play.

But the Warriors grabbed the lead right back with a run in the top of the fifth. Brock Staheli hit a two-out, bases-loaded sacrifice fly to make it 5-4. The Warriors added an unearned run in the sixth to make it 6-4 and Isaac Rhea had an RBI groundout in the seventh to push the lead to 7-4. With Dolce on cruise control, that would be more than enough insurance for Dolce and the Warriors defense to get the job done.

“”This was a tense game and I knew it would be,” Secrist said. “I tried to make my guys understand that just because we 10-runned Dixie last Tuesday, doesn’t mean this game wasn’t going to be a battle. I remember one year we 10-runned them here and they came to our house and beat us. I knew they would be tough.”

Dixie led 1-0 on the strength of a Jaden Rawlings home run in the bottom of the second inning. SC’s Jacob Frei matched the feat with a solo shot of his own to start the third inning and the Warriors plated two more in that inning to take a 3-1 lead. Both of those runs came home on a play in which Dixie committed two errors.

Warrior shortstop Brad Grisenti (15) tags out Dixie's Hobbs Nyberg on a steal attempt, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 27, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Warrior shortstop Brad Grisenti (15) tags out Dixie’s Hobbs Nyberg on a steal attempt, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 27, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

It was 4-1 in the fourth as Austin Deming singled home Frei with two outs, but Dixie answered with three in the bottom half to tie the game. Dolce and Dixie starter Colin Hutchings were given new life with the tie score heading into the fifth.

But it was Dolce who would seize the day, allowing just two base runners the rest of the game. Both men got on (one in the fifth and one in the seventh) on Snow Canyon errors and neither got any further than first base. It was the last time Snow Canyon would play at Don Lay Flyers Field and the next-to-last home game of the season for Dixie.

“You know, this is a great old ballpark,” Secrist said. “It’s a part of St. George history and we’ve had some intense games here. But over that left field fence is a great new ball field and it looks like it will be a great place to play.”

Frei and Chance Thorkleson both had two hits for the Warriors, while Dolce allowed just four hits and two walks.

The win was important for the Warriors, who move into fourth place in the region at 5-5. Snow Canyon is a game ahead of Canyon View (4-6) and two ahead of Dixie (3-7) with two games left. SC plays a two-game set with last-place Hurricane starting Tuesday at HHS. The Warriors are 14-7 overall.

Dixie, which got two RBIs each from Rawlings and Fisher, is still mathematically alive. The Flyers would have to sweep Canyon View this week and hope Snow Canyon loses two to Hurricane in order to qualify for a play-in game. The Dixie-CV two-game set starts Tuesday at Flyers Field. Dixie is 12-9 overall.

Stats: scdix418145

Region 9 Standings
DH   9-1
PV   7-3
CD   8-4
SC   5-5
CV   4-6
DX   3-7
HU   0-10

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

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