Pine View rallies to down Dixie, take lead in playoff race as last game looms

Pine View at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Apr. 29, 2014 | Photo by Dallas Griffin

ST. GEORGE — Dakota Donovan has a lot of faith in his teammates.

The sophomore pitcher, despite a game in which he had struck out 10 of his opponents through five innings, still saw his Pine View Panthers trailing Dixie 2-0 heading into the sixth inning. But Donovan said he wasn’t worried.

“Nah, I wasn’t worried, ” he said. “I had confidence that my team would come up with runs. I was confident they were going to get me three or four.”

Pine-view-smdixie-smAs it turns out, the youngster was right. Donovan finished out the night with a complete game victory, his teammates notching four runs in the sixth inning and an insurance run in the seventh as the Panthers took a huge step toward a playoff spot with a 5-3 victory over the Flyers Tuesday at Don Lay Flyer Field.

Donovan was also one of five Panthers to get hits in that four-run rally in the sixth that turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead and turned the game upside down. Another hero for Pine View, senior Dylan Draper, also had a hit in the rally and had three singles in the game.

“Coach took aside and told us we had to get our focus game back in play because we had a lack of focus the first few innings,” Draper said. “All week long we’ve just been saying we need to play small ball and just single them to death.”

Dixie had led 2-0 on runs by Chris Petrosie, who stole home on a double steal in the third inning, and Chance Aplanalp, who scored on a passed ball in the fifth inning.

But PV’s rally in the sixth was a big one. Nine men came to the plate, with the hit parade beginning with a one-out single by Hunter Hansen. He stole second and went to third on a single by Donovan. A wild pitch moved Donovan’s speed-up runner to second, but Hansen stayed at third. The open base prompted an intentional walk by Dixie of hot-hitting Brooks Barney.

With the bases loaded, Kash Walker hit one deep in the hole at short, which Dixie’s Drew Bailey flagged down, but was late on a force throw to second. Hansen scored on the play to make it 2-1. Harrison Goebel then came on as a pinch hitter and lined a single through the right side to tie the game at 2-2. Draper followed with a liner to left field to give Pine View its first lead of the game as Barney sprinted across the plate. Parker Leavitt then picked up an RBI by beating out a double-play ball, making it 4-2 as Walker scored.

In the seventh, Logan LaFemina scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2.

Dixie tried to rally in the seventh as Braxton Ipson scored on a Gavin Graff single. But PV right fielder Kash Walker gunned down a Dixie baserunner trying to go from first to third on the play for the second out of the inning. After a Chaz Hansen single put runners at the corners with two down, PV coach Mike Gargano met with Donovan. After the huddle, which included the entire Panther infield, Donovan struck out the final Dixie batter to end the game.

Pine View, at 6-5, has now clinched at least a tie for the final playoff spot from Region 9. The Panthers, 6-5 in region, lead Snow Canyon (5-6) by one game with one game remaining. PV could still tie Canyon View for third place and perhaps Cedar as well if the Redmen were to lose to Hurricane Friday. But if PV loses to Dixie Friday and the Warriors win against Desert Hills, the two teams would be forced to compete in a play-in game next week (likely on Tuesday) on a neutral field for the final playoff spot.

Petrosie was the hit leader for Dixie with two singles in the game. Dixie, with the loss, falls to 4-7 in region and will miss out on postseason play. The Flyers close out the season Friday at Pine View.

Stats: pvdix42914

Videocast produced by Dallas Griffin

Region 9
Desert Hills 9 2 65 27 .818 17 4 144 40 .810
Cedar 7 4 58 33 .636 17 5 156 56 .773
Canyon View 7 5 67 52 .583 13 8 126 97 .619
Pine View 6 5 62 63 .545 11 9 124 107 .550
Snow Canyon 5 6 70 76 .455 11 11 154 154 .500
Dixie 4 7 62 51 .364 11 11 130 102 .500
Hurricane 1 10 32 114 .091 7 13 110 192 .350

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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