American Legion baseball: Sentinels ready for state after wins over CV, DH

Logan LaFemina slides in to third base safely as Trey Allred applies the tag, St. George Sentinels vs. Desert Hills Thunder, Baseball, St. George, Utah, July 22, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The St. George Sentinels are hoping they are ready for the American Legion state tournament, using a pair of wins over local school teams this week as a final tune-up for the tourney.

legionlogoTuesday, the Sentinels beat Canyon View 10-7 and Wednesday they got past Desert Hills 10-4, avenging a loss from earlier this season to the Thunder.

“The guys were pretty motivated,” said Sentinels coach Shane Johanson. “We pulled our pitching too ear;ly last time we played them and kind of blew that game, so we wanted to make up for it tonight.”

Motivation like that can go a long way in baseball and the Sentinels had jumped out to a 7-0 lead before starting pitcher Brooks Barney had even thrown a pitch. Barney ended up throwing three innings of no-hit ball, though his team did give up an unearned run. He left the mound with a 9-1 lead, with Carter Milne pitching the final four innings.

Tyler Johnston at the plate for the Sentinels, St. George Sentinels vs. Desert Hills Thunder, Baseball, St. George, Utah, July 22, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Tyler Johnston at the plate for the Sentinels, St. George Sentinels vs. Desert Hills Thunder, Baseball, St. George, Utah, July 22, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“It helps a lot when you start out with a 7-0 lead,” Barney said. “With a lead like that, you just go out there really relaxed and just have fun and execute pitches.”

Tyler Johnston led off the game with a double and also knocked home a pair of runs later in the inning with a sharp single. The first five batters reached and scored in the first inning for St. George. To Desert Hills’ credit, the Thunder battled back to within 9-4 before an insurance run put things away in the top of the seventh off a sacrifice fly by Sanchez.

Chad Nelson scored a pair of runs and did work on the mound for the Thunder.

The Sentinels, 19-8, now head to the state tourney, which begins Monday afternoon in Logan. They’ll play at 1 p.m., though their opponent still has yet to be determined.

Kash Walker rounds third and scores for the Sentinels, St. George Sentinels vs. Desert Hills Thunder, Baseball, St. George, Utah, July 22, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Kash Walker rounds third and scores for the Sentinels, St. George Sentinels vs. Desert Hills Thunder, Baseball, St. George, Utah, July 22, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“We have the same identical record as last year going into state,” Johanson said. “Last year I don’t know that we went in expecting much. We were just pleased that we had made the tournament. But when you get beat in the very last game, it leaves you with a taste in your mouth that we were going to come back and do things right.”

St. George took second last season, falling to helper in the “if necessary” game of the state championship.

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

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