ST. GEORGE — Baseball season can be tricky, thanks to Mother Nature.
Desert Hills and Cedar were going to play Tuesday afternoon in Cedar City, but rain washed it away. Then they were going to play Wednesday afternoon, but Cedar City was again drenched. When the two teams agreed to meet Wednesday night at Thunder Field in St. George, that game seemed in danger of being rained out as well. But the clouds finally parted and the two region rivals finally got the game in, with Desert Hills rallying for a 10-6 win.
The first-place Thunder, who now lead Pine View by a single game with three left, scored nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined to turn the contest around.
“Cedar was in control for a lot of the game,” Beck said. “Rykker Tom hit a bomb that is probably the farthest shot ever in this ballpark. And Drake Lewis hit one out right after that, so we were scrambling.”
The two Cedar sluggers went back-to-back off of Thunder starter Brayson Hurdsman in the top of the fifth and things looked ominous for the home team with the Redmen ahead 4-1.
“You know, Hurdsman’s been carrying us the last two or three games, so we owed him one,” Beck said. “He wasn’t at his best, but we went out and got some runs for him.”
Six of the first seven men to the plate in the bottom of the fifth reached base, via four hits and two Cedar errors. Daniel Arrey started it all with a leadoff single and Quinn Kiser, Trey Winget and Trey Allred all had hits. Arrey scored on an error to make it 4-2 and Winget pushed home Kiser to cut it to 4-3.
Chance Milne scored on an error to tie the game and the Thunder got their first lead on Allred’s RBI single that scored Winget and made it 5-4. DH scored one more in the inning (off an error) and then plated four in the bottom of the sixth (with Winget and Allred knocking home three of those) to take a 10-4 lead into the seventh. Cedar added two runs in the top of the seventh on a two-run single by Lewis.
“We kind of base hit them to death,” Beck said. “Winget had a huge game and Quinn Kiser, battling that ankle injury, can barely run to first base, but he came through with a couple of big hits.”
Hurdsman pitched the whole game, giving up six earned runs and eight hits. He struck out eight and walked two. He also homered in the fourth for Desert Hills’ first run. Winget, Allred and Kiser all had two hits.
Lewis led the Redmen with three hits and four RBIs, while Tom had two hits, a walk and three runs scored.
With the win, D-Hills moves to 6-1 in region, with one more game left against Cedar and then a final two-game series vs. Pine View, which is a game back at 5-2. Last season, the Thunder led the Panthers by two games, but were swept in the final series and had to settle for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Pine View went on to win the state championship.
“Hey, I like being in first place, but we’re kind of in the same place we were last year,” Beck said. “We have three tough games left and we want to make sure we finish the year right. Hopefully we learned something from last year.”
The Cedar-Desert Hills game scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. may be moved to Bruce Hurst Field at Dixie State Friday night at 7 p.m. Beck said the weather and condition of Cedar High’s field will be evaluated over the next couple of days before a final decision is made.
The Redmen, 1-6 in region, are not yet out of the playoffs. But the loss has them in sixth place, one game behind Snow Canyon and two games behind Hurricane. Cedar hosts the Tigers in the last series of the regular season.
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