ST. GEORGE — There might have been some satisfaction lingering around Warrior Field late Friday night, but it didn’t seem anyone was particularly happy.
Snow Canyon ended the regular season with a 5-3 win over Region 9 champion Desert Hills at SC, but found out moments after the game that a 5-2 Pine View win over Dixie meant the Warriors would not make the 2014 playoffs, finishing one game behind the Panthers for the fourth-place spot.
Meanwhile, the Thunder had every right to feel satisfied with their first-place finish in region. But Thunder players and fans left the park a bit disgruntled after committing four errors and dropping the two-run decision to rival Snow Canyon. All in all, no one left the venue especially tickled, except maybe the concessionaires, who were hopping all night with the large crowd on hand to witness the grudge match.
“It was a great atmosphere and I loved it,” Warriors coach Reed Secrist said. “It’s very disappointing that we won’t be able to go and try to get another state championship. But we just played a great game against a great team.”
Snow Canyon went into the evening a game behind Pine View and hoping the Panthers would lose to Dixie while the Warriors tried to get a victory over Desert Hills. Only half of that equation worked out, but Secrist said his team can head into the offseason with its head held high.
“Only one team swept us all year and I feel like we got better as the year went on, but we had a rough start at 0-3,” he said. “This is such a great region and I’m sure one of the teams representing Region 9 will bring home another state championship.”
Snow Canyon never trailed in the game and came out like it was ready to grab that possible play-in game, scoring three runs in the first inning. Jake Frei hit the first pitch of the bottom of the first to the fence for a double. He scored on a Tyler Wardell groundout. Moments later, Josh Howard socked a towering two-run home run way over the left field fence to make it 3-0.
Wyatt Bendall answered with a solo shot in the top of the second, but Desert Hills would get no closer the rest of the game. SC got a couple more runs in the third and led 5-1 until the sixth.
The Thunder got two in that inning, with Jordan Evans and Evan Moss each knocking a run home, but Clint Gates came on for the Warriors and got the save to close out the game.
“Jake (Sargent) started and gave us five strong innings,” Secrist said. “After that, how can you not give the ball to (senior) Clint Gates?”
The win helps SC finish one game over .500 overall at 12-11 and at 6-6 in region. The Warriors swept Hurricane and were swept by Canyon View, but split two games with every other team in the region, including Desert Hills. Brady Sargent had two hits and two runs scored in the game for the Warriors.
The Thunder, who are 17-5 and will host a four-team pod next Saturday, got two hits from Dylan File in the game. Blake Betts also doubled for the Thunder, who end up 9-3 in region. D-Hills will play Richfield at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
Video produced by Dallas Griffin, St. George News
Cedar 13, Hurricane 3
Cedar put up seven runs in the first inning and five in the second as Brecken Lewis, Brock Esplin, Garrett Morgan, Rykker Tom, and Weston Bettridge all doubled and Kayden Lunt hit a home run.
Lewis got the win on the mound as Cedar clinched second place with an 8-4 region record with the win. The Redmen will travel to Draper and Juan Diego High School for the first and second rounds of the playoffs. Cedar will play Juab in the first game, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
FINAL REGION STANDINGS
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