TWIR9: It could be the year of the hitter in region baseball in 2015

COMMENTARY — Could this be the year of the hitter in Region 9?

For so long, it seems, there have been dominant pitchers in the region. Guys like Riley Gates, Braxton Ipson, Dylan File, Kayden Lunt and Baden Powell have dominated the hitters and shown fans some real pitching gems. And for sure, there are a few aces around the region this season, including four-year starter Zack Brinkerhoff at Canyon View and Dakota Donovan at Pine View. In fact, each team has a couple of impressive arms when it comes to throwing that first pitch.

But it really does seem that every team this year is swinging the bat better than they have in a long time.

Colin Hutchings (9) gets congratulations from his teammates after his 3-run home run, Fremont vs. Dixie, Dixie Sunshine Classic championship game, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 14, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Colin Hutchings (9) gets congratulations from his teammates after his 3-run home run, Fremont vs. Dixie, Dixie Sunshine Classic championship game, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 14, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

For instance, Snow Canyon, a team that is undefeated and is the source of whispers throughout the region (“How good are those guys?”), has a murderer’s row of hitters in their line-up. Jake Frei, Ike Jorgensen, Brady Sargent and Isaac Rhea, plus Chance Thorkleson and Nick Dolce — well, I could name their whole starting line-up — provide an intimidating group for pitchers to battle.

Dixie, which leads the region in scoring at better than 11 runs a game, has a group of hitters that find a way to get on seemingly every time up. The first four hitters for the Flyers, Drew Bailey, Kody Hutchings, Collin Hutchings and Jaden Rawlings, seemingly have spent more time on the base paths than in the dugout this year.

Other guys around the region that can make every swing a scary one include Harrison Goebel and Blake Ence of Pine View, Brayson Hurdsman and Wyatt Bendall of Desert Hills, Treyson Esplin and Rykker Tom of Cedar, Jaden Black and Keaton Kringlen of Canyon View and Drake Hermansen and Kyle Williams of Hurricane.

So, don’t be surprised if we see a lot of 9-7 and 8-6 games this year, as opposed to some of the 3-0 and 4-2 games we’ve seen in the past. The pitchers are good in 2015, but for once, the hitter may be even better.

Here’s this week’s Region 9 baseball schedule:

Tuesday
Cedar at Desert Hills, 7 p.m. — ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM
Snow Canyon at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Hurricane at Pine View, 7 p.m.

Friday
Canyon View at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m. — ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM
Desert Hills at Cedar, 4 p.m.
Pine View at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Dixie at Weber, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday
Dixie at Mt. Crest, 10 a.m.

SOFTBALL

It’s too early to make any major declarative statements as far as the race for supremacy in Region 9 softball. However, a couple of things happened last week that are worth noting.

Cedar won two games in impressive fashion, shutting out both Pine View and Dixie. The Lady Reds outscored their foes 20-0 in the two games and are alone in first after a week of play.

But Pine View bounced back to surprise Snow Canyon Friday afternoon, rallying for three runs in the seventh to take an 8-7 victory. It was SC’s first loss and put to bed the idea that it was going to be a two-team race in the region. In fact, D-Hills looked bad against Snow Canyon, but turned around and beat up on Hurricane, so who knows where the next six weeks or so are going to lead us in region play?

One thing’s for sure: It should be fun.

This week’s softball schedule:

Tuesday
Desert Hills at Pine View, 4 p.m.
Dixie at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Cedar, 4 p.m.

Friday
Canyon View at Cedar, 4 p.m.
Dixie at Snow Canyon, 4 p.m.
Pine View at Hurricane, 4 p.m.

SOCCER

Dixie (3-0-1) has played one more game than Pine View (3-0-0), so the Flyers lead the Panthers by a single point in the standings. Snow Canyon (3-1-0) also has nine points and is right in the mix, though the Warriors lost at home to PV on Tuesday, so they’ll have to make up for that.

Dixie is off Tuesday and Pine View is favored to beat Hurricane, which should set up a prime time match-up Thursday night at Panther Stadium. It is the only game in any sport scheduled for that night, so fans of both teams should be joined by anyone who wants to see a good, competitive soccer match with first place on the line. The Warriors, who play at Canyon View Tuesday and then have a bye, will likely be rooting for a tie, so neither team gets the three points awarded for a victory.

Here’s this week’s soccer schedule:

Tuesday
Snow Canyon at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Cedar at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.
Hurricane at Pine View, 7 p.m.

Thursday
Dixie at Pine View, 7 p.m.

Friday
Desert Hills at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Cedar at Hurricane, 5:30 p.m.

“This Week in Region 9″ is a weekly column written by Andy Griffin exploring the happenings in Region 9 at all sports venues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. George News.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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