ST. GEORGE — In a game that featured 20 runs and 29 hits, it was the defense that really spelled the difference Thursday night.
“I was disappointed we didn’t make some of those plays,” Snow Canyon coach Reed Sechrist said. “The pitching wasn’t great tonight, but it wasn’t terrible. But we’ve got to make those plays behind the pitchers. We make four errors, they make none. That’s the difference.”
The Warriors started the game off well enough, striking for five runs in the bottom of the third inning against the Las Vegas powerhouse to take a 5-2 lead. Cimarron, which went 25-8 last season and won the Southwest Division in Las Vegas, started their ace, left-hander Larry Quaney, who was 8-0 last season.
After the Spartans cut it to 5-4 in the top of the fourth, SC struck for another run and chased Quaney out of the game with a 6-4 lead. Unfortunately for Snow Canyon, the next two and a half innings, Cimarron would get hot, scoring seven unanswered runs to take an 11-6 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Brady Sargent homered for SC in the final inning to pull the Warriors within 11-9.
Snow Canyon, the two-time defending state champ, is trying to reload after losing some big stars to graduation last season, including Riley Gates, Chandler Day and coach’s son Brogan Sechrist.
“It’s kind of strange not having Riley, Brogan and Chandler,” Coach Sechrist said. “I’ve coached those guys since they were small. Ever since Riley came into the program when he was a freshman, we could rely on him to come in and shut people down. But we have some good players and a good team this year. We just have to figure out how all the pieces fit together.”
The Warriors will rely heavily on players like Brady Sargent and Will Durante, who had three hits in the game Thursday night.
Snow Canyon, 3-1, will take the rest of the weekend off of baseball, although the team will act as the grounds crew for Warriors Field as teams from Utah and Nevada play in the Snow Canyon Classic this weekend.
The Warriors begin region play with two games next week. The new region schedule has teams playing each other twice in one week. Tuesday and Wednesday, Snow Canyon will play Canyon View. The Falcons visit SCHS Tuesday at 7 p.m. and the Warriors go up to CVHS Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.
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