Baseball roundup: Donovan gives PV hardballers inside track to playoffs

Desert Hills at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Apr. 22, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A week ago, Pine View had dropped below .500 and its season was on the brink of disaster. Just look at the Panthers now.

Sixteen-year-old sophomore Dakota Donovan pitched a complete game for the Panthers as PV captured its second straight crucial win with a 6-4 home victory over Desert Hills Tuesday night at Panther Field.

Pine-view-smDesert-Hills-sm“We just came together as a team last week after (the Cedar loss) and the seniors said they would do anything for us younger players and we said we would everything we could to help us win,” Donovan said. “These seniors have never been to the playoffs and they deserve to be there. It’s an interesting dynamic on this team with a few seniors and a lot of us younger guys, but I think it’s really working. We would do anything for each other. We’ve got each others’ backs.”

There was some sloppy defense in the game, especially by the usually solid Thunder, who have made a living this season off of solid defense and great pitching. Desert Hills committed six errors, plus Pine View pounded out eight hits in racing out to a 6-1 lead.

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Dakota Donovan, Desert Hills at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Apr. 22, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Dakota Donovan, Desert Hills at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Apr. 22, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

The trouble started early for Desert Hills as normal Tuesday starter Baden Powell was a late scratch with a sore back. Coach Jerry beck handed the ball to lefty Blake Betts, but the tone was set early as PV’s first batter in the bottom of the first inning, Micah Morgan, hit a high fly ball that cleared the left field fence with a little help from a stiff wind.

The Thunder got the run back in the top of the second when Brayson Hurdsman, who had singled and advanced on bad throws, scored on a groundout by Wyatt Bendall.

But Pine View grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the second. Justice Santiago led off with a single and stole second. He then scored on a double by Brooks Barney. Barney then scored on a DH error, making it 3-1.

The Panthers upped it to 5-1 in the third after Donovan walked and scored on a double by Santiago and then Santiago scored again on a groundout. Hunter Hansen scored on an error in the fourth to make it 6-1.

Desert Hills at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Apr. 22, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Justice Santiago, Desert Hills at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Apr. 22, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

Desert Hills pulled to within 6-4 with three runs in the top of the sixth, mostly due to Donovan’s wildness.

“I lost it there for a second,” Donovan said. “But my teammates gathered around me and told me that we’ve got this and really gave me confidence. They told me they had my back.”

Donovan gave up two hits and three walks in the sixth to produce the three runs, with Hurdsman and Cam Winget getting big hits for DH, but two strikeouts helped him wriggle out of the jam and catcher Hansen gunned down a runner on an attempted steal to finish off the rally. Donovan then retired the side in order in the seventh for the win.

“I think if he would have given up a base runner I would have pulled him, because he had used up his pitches,” Pine View coach Mike Gargano said. “We had a count on him and he was done. I told him that, too.”

Pine View went from 3-4 and facing a road game at Cedar last Friday to now a 5-4 record with that Cedar road win and now a huge win over the region-leading Thunder.

“I love the way these guys pick each other up,” Gargano said. “These seniors have really stepped up. They needed to show some grit these last two games and they have done that.”

Pine View, 10-8 overall, is tied for third place with Cedar with three games left. The Panthers play at D-Hills Friday with either Harrison Goebel or Morgan squaring off against Dylan File or Powell. PV closes out the year with a two-game series against longtime rival Dixie.

Stats: dhpv42214

Cedar 5, Dixie 1

cedar-smdixie-smThe other teams the Panthers were tied with before Tuesday, Dixie and Cedar, squared off in Cedar City in a game that was played in a howling wind.

Dixie started off with the early lead off CHS starter Kayden Lunt with a run in the top of the first. But Lunt settled down and the Redmen grabbed the lead with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third.

Cedar added a three-spot in the fifth and that was plenty for the solid Lunt as Cedar improved to 15-5 overall and 5-4 in region play.

Brecken Lewis doubled twice for the Redmen and shortstop Rykker Tom doubled in the win. CHS plays at Dixie Friday night with Lewis likely to start against Flyers ace Braxton Ipson.

The Flyers, 11-9 overall, fell to 4-5 in region and are at least momentarily out of position to make the playoffs. A home win Friday is crucial for Dixie.

Canyon View 4, Hurricane 0

canyon-view-smhurricane-smThe Falcons threw ace Zack Brinkerhoff at the Tigers and he responded with a one-hit masterpiece Tuesday night in Hurricane.

Jay Williams was the tough luck loser for the Tigers, holding the hard-hitting Falcons to six hits.

Canyon View, 13-7 and 7-4, is tied with D-Hills in the win column, but two games back in the loss column in the region title race. The Falcons finish their region schedule Friday at home against Hurricane and have a region bye the final week of the season.

Region 9
Desert Hills 7 2 57 26 .778 15 4 136 39 .789
Canyon View 7 4 61 45 .636 13 7 120 90 .650
Pine View 5 4 57 55 .556 10 8 119 99 .556
Cedar 5 4 44 27 .556 15 5 142 50 .750
Snow Canyon 5 5 69 73 .500 11 9 145 142 .550
Dixie 4 5 57 43 .444 11 9 125 94 .550
Hurricane 0 9 21 97 .000 6 12 99 175 .333

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