ST. GEORGE – With tyrannical pitching and timely hitting, Desert Hills walked through a pair of opponents Saturday and punched its ticket to Thursday’s winner’s bracket quarterfinal. DH 10-runned Richfield 12-2 early in the day, then closed the night with a big win over Park City.
The Thunder jumped out early on Park City, putting up four runs in the first inning. Evan Moss led off with a single. Brayson Hurdsman doubled, moving Moss to third. File followed with a two-RBI double. Clay Wilcox drew a walk and then Wyatt Bendall reached on an error. Baden Powell scored File on a fielder’s choice. Clay Gardner then scored Wilcox with a single.
Desert Hills added two more in the third. The Thunder added two more extra base hits, including a triple from Hurdsman that scored Gardner. After three, the lead was 6-0.
In the sixth, Park City finally got on the board. After a lead-off single by Griffin Churich, Chandler Anderson rocked a File pitch to left center for a two-run home run.
“I put the ball exactly where I wanted to put it,” said File. “It was a good hit.”
The Thunder matched the two runs in the bottom of the inning with consecutive hits by Jordan Evans, Moss and Hurdsman.
In addition to great pitching from File, the Thunder benefited from almost flawless defense. Shortstop Braiden Irvin made the plays on several hits in his direction.
“Normally when Dylan (File) pitches, I rarely see much come my way,” said Irvin. “He throws so hard that the batters pop to the outfield or pull on the off-speed to third base. But this team pulled right a lot and I was able to help Dylan out.”
Thunder coach Jerry Beck said it’s a luxury to have a shortstop the caliber of Irvin.
“Braiden is one of the best shortstops in the state, if not the best,” Beck said. “He played well tonight.”
File pitched a complete game, picking up the win. The Thunder move to 20-5. Blake Morin took the loss for the Miners who fall to 19-8. Desert Hills will face Region 9 nemesis Pine View Thursday at 11 a.m. at Utah Valley University. Park City will go to the loser’s bracket and face Juab Thursday at Spanish Fork at 1:30 p.m.
In the early game, Desert Hills scored 10 runs in the second inning and cruised to the five inning mercy-rule shortened victory over the Wildcats. Powell got the win for DH, which had just seven hits in the game, but took advantage of wildness by the Richfield pitchers and three Wildcat errors.
Moss and Evans both doubled in the game and Moss scored three times while Evans had three base hits. D-Hills brought 14 batters to the plate in that second inning and Moss and Evans both scored twice in that frame. Richfield issued seven walks and hit four batters in the game.
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