OREM – The Dixie Flyers beat Canyon View Friday afternoon 8-4, but were eliminated from the 3A state baseball tournament later that evening, falling to Spanish Fork 9-4.
The Flyers deep run in the tournament and their 2013 campaign ended as a sixth inning meltdown put the DHS in a hole it could not dig itself out of.
“We didn’t have anything to lose,” said Flyer head coach Danny Ipson. “And no one thought we could amount to much, but we just came up a little short today.”
The Spanish Fork Dons took an early 3-0 lead that was matched by the Flyers in the third inning. Tyler Strehlow batted in two RBIs and Jesse Lambert had a nifty triple to tie the game at 3-3. In the fourth inning, Dixie’s Gavin Graff had an RBI single, bringing in Trevor Cox for the go-ahead score making it 4-3.
Dixie was able to hold onto the lead until the sixth inning when SF’s Gus Snell had a two-run jack over the left field fence. The Dons rallied around Snell’s home run and tallied a total of six runs making it 9-4, a lead that would prove insurmountable for the Flyers.
Jim Nelson, head coach of the Dons, said that the key to their sixth inning rally was to just get their offense started.
“We just had to get a guy on,” said Nelson. “We got some good hits and some lucky breaks and then Gus (Snell) hit it out. We were then able to add to our cushion and give our pitcher some breathing room.”
The Flyers had a shot at a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, getting two men on base in a late two-out rally that was eventually extinguished. The Dons held on in the bottom of the seventh to secure the 9-4 victory and advance in the 3A state tournament.
“We have been working hard to get back in the swing of things,” said Nelson. “My hat goes off to Dixie. They are a class act and I hate to see them lose.”
In the Flyers afternoon contest, they cruised to an 8-4 victory over the Canyon View Falcons.
Dixie’s quick start against the Falcons was a refreshing change from the Flyers’ nerve-racking come-from-behind victories Thursday. Dixie scored two runs in the first inning and added three more in the second frame. They never trailed to the Falcons.
In the top of the first inning, the Flyers benefited from two walks and an error that loaded the bases with no outs. Senior Lambert took a walk to bring in the Flyers first run and fellow senior Tyson Graff hit a deep sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Lambert, who brought in two RBIs, said the quick start was essential to the Flyers victory over Canyon View.
“It was huge,” he said. “We weren’t as pressured and we were able to relax at the plate. We were working great together and just having fun.”
Canyon View kept within striking distance with runs in the first, third and fourth innings, but ultimately was unable to remain in contention.
“The difference in the game was that Dixie had some chances and they took them,” said Canyon View head coach Jason Jacobson. “We had some chances too but couldn’t make them and that’s baseball.”
The Flyers finished their 2013 season with a record of 19-10.
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