SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The group of all-stars from Snow Canyon Little League is liking things at the next level.
Representing the state of Utah at the West Regionals in California, Snow Canyon opened up with a dominating 11-1 win over Arizona, ending the game via the mercy-rule in the fifth inning.
“It feels awesome to get a win and get this first game under our belt,” Snow Canyon coach Gavin Frei told ESPNRadio’s Devin Dixon. “We’re humbled to be in this spot, just a little team from Santa Clara, Utah. No Snow Canyon team had ever won a game out here, so it’s just amazing.”
The SC squad started a bit slowly, trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third of the scheduled six-inning game. But the third proved to be key.
Easton Rigby and Tanner Truman led off the inning with a pair of walks. Jackson Ence then singled to shallow right field, scoring Rigby and tying the game.
After a popout, Landon Frei came to the plate with fire in his eyes. He ripped the first pitch deep over the right field fence to put Snow Canyon ahead 4-1.
“All the boys played very well today,” Frei said. “Our guys hung in there after a slow start. Jake Johnson hit the ball hard and Landon, of course, was great. He hit the ball like he does and he also pitched lights out.”
Landon Frei’s effort was complete, pitching all five innings and allowing just four hits, while also recording two hits of his own, along with three RBIs and scoring a pair of runs.
To go with the 11 hits recorded by SC, the team also drew five walks and played excellent defense, committing just a single error in the game.
Isaac Lyon scored on a passed ball in the fourth inning and then Snow Canyon really got it rolling in the fifth. Hits by Frei and Johnson preceded an Arizona error that put the score at 7-1. Carston Herman walked and forced home Lyon to make it 8-1, with a hit batsman pushing home the ninth run. The game then ended on the next play when a hot fly ball by Frei was mishandled by the defense, allowing Herman and Ence to score.
“The fan support was great,” Coach Frei said. “Britton Shipp came to one of our practices before we left and then he was there today cheering us on. We told the boys that we should go get this one for Britt and I think they took that to heart.”
Snow Canyon advances right into the semifinals of the West Regional with the win and will play Thursday night. The game will be televised on ESPN at 7 p.m. (MST).
Boxscore: Utah 11, Arizona 1
Follow the stats at the West regional at the Gamechanger website.
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