COMMENTARY — Last season, the Desert Hills baseball team was a perfect 12-0 in Region 9, winning the league title by a whopping four games over second place Snow Canyon. And while the Warriors eventually came back and won the state championship on the last game of the state tournament, there’s no doubt the Thunder had a an incredible year.
So how did they do it? We could talk about defense and timely hitting and a number of other factors, but the biggest reason is pitching. Last year, the group of pitchers anchored by Kaleb Caplin, Dylan File and Baden Powell helped DH to that perfect region record.
Well, this year, the Thunder are at it again, starting region 4-0. Caplin has graduated, but File and Powell are back, along with Blake Betts and Desert Hills is also getting big contributions from sophomore Brayson Hurdsman. Right now, with that kind of staff, the Thunder are on track to repeat as region champions once again.
But a word of caution to Desert Hills baseball fans: Going undefeated is a rare and special accomplishment. Last year’s team made it look easy, but even the 2013 Thunder had to squeeze out a couple of one-run games and and extra-inning nailbiter. There are too many good teams and too many good pitchers around the region to expect perfection every year. Besides, it’s not about perfection, it’s about winning titles. And I think most Desert Hills fans would trade one of those region wins in April last year for one more win in the state tournament in May.
Canyon View will try and end the DH perfection this week, while Snow Canyon and Dixie will try and get a leg up into third place as they battle this week and Cedar and Pine View face the same dilemma. All four of those teams are at .500 in region play, so this is a key week with only four of the seven region teams qualifying for the playoffs.
In boys soccer, there is a huge match tonight over at Dixie as the Flyers come calling. Pine View, at 5-1-1, is in first place with 16 points (remember, in soccer you get three points for a win and one point for a tie). Dixie is at 4-2-1 and has 13 points. PV has allowed just one goal per game through its first seven region games, so defense is a premium for the Panthers.
Add to that mix Snow Canyon, which has already had its second-half bye and is 4-1-1 and has 13 points. The Warriors play at Desert Hills. DH, 2-5-0, is in desperate need of a win to try and get into playoff position. Cedar is at Hurricane in the other region game tonight.
In softball, Desert Hills has a chance today to show how far its come as the Lady Thunder host Snow Canyon, the defending region champs. DH has a couple of huge road wins, but Snow Canyon is winners of six of the last seven games and has scored at least 12 runs in four of those wins.
Tuesday, April 8
Desert Hills at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Cedar at Pine View, 7 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Dixie, 7 p.m.
Cedar at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Pine View at Dixie, 7 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.
Cedar at Hurricane, 4 p.m.
Pine View at Dixie, 4 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Desert Hills, 4 p.m.
Thursday, April 10
Pine View at Hurricane, 4 p.m.
Friday, April 11
Pine View at Cedar, 4 p.m.
Canyon View at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.
Dixie at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m. (Broadcast on ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM).
Canyon View at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.
Dixie at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.
Pine View at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Canyon View at Snow Canyon, 4 p.m.
Dixie at Desert Hills, 4 p.m.
Pine View at Payson, 4 p.m.
Pine View at Payson, 5:30 p.m.
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