ST. GEORGE – It’s nice to host a tournament and this weekend saw Dixie, Hurricane, Desert Hills, Pine View and Snow Canyon all hosting preseason baseball tourneys in the Dixie sunshine.
But hosting does not guarantee a tournament championship and the games definitely got tougher for Region 9 schools on Saturday. However, the Flyers, Panthers and Thunder all emerged from the weekend with perfect records and tournament championship plaques to put in their trophy cases.
Dixie defeated Bear River Saturday to win the Donnie Pymm First Pitch Classic, while Pine View rallied past Park City to garner the top spot on the Tiger-Panther Classic. Desert Hills won two games on Saturday to earn the championship of the Summit Athletic Club Invitational.
Snow Canyon split a pair of games, falling just short of the KJ Harrison Classic title, while Hurricane and Cedar bounced back with blowout wins after each suffered losses on Friday. Here’s a look at Saturday’s final day of tourney action:
Dixie 10, Bear River 4
Tyson Fisher was named the Donnie Pymm Classic MVP for his work on the mound (a no hitter on Thursday) and in the batter’s box (5 for 13 on the weekend with seven runs scored, five RBIs and four extra-base hits).
Fisher certainly was a star, as expected. But Payden Harrah stole some of Fisher’s thunder over the weekend. Harrah wasn’t even the for-sure starter at third base going into the tourney, but was very impressive. He ended up going 8 for 15 with four runs scored and three RBIs. Against the Bears, Harrah had three hits, including two doubles.
“Payden played really well,” Dixie coach Danny Ipson said. “There was a real question mark coming into that at third base. I think even defensively he played well. Really, as you take a look at our lineup, everybody had a moment and an opportunity at some point in time at the plate and in the field to have a big moment and they did.”
The Bears, who had gone 3-0 heading into the Classic’s title game, played loose and hard and actually led 4-2 after a big rally in the second inning. A Dixie error helped open the door for Bear River, which brought all four unearned runs in off of Dixie starter Jake Orchard.
The score stayed 4-2 as Bears pitchers kept the Flyers off balance with a myriad of breaking pitches. Dixie was able to scratch a pair of runs home to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. Harrah and Tyson Miller had big hits and Kyler Yates ended up bringing home the tying run by racing home from third after the catcher released the ball on a double steal.
It was a defensive play that seemed to really change the game, however. BRHS’s Marshall Pond had ripped a two-out double to the gap in the top of the fifth. Kaygen Canfield stepped to the plate and delivered a single to center that looked like it would score Pond from second and break the 4-4 tie. But Dixie center fielder Dayton Dempsey delivered a strike to home plate to cut down Pond and end the scoring threat.
With momentum from the defensive gem, Dempsey led off the bottom of the fifth with a single. Two batters later, Harrah brought him home with the go-ahead run on a double to deep left field. Yates followed with an RBI single and the flood gates were open. Chase Lundin, Miller and Hobbs Nyberg also delivered RBIs as Dixie scored six in the fifth to seize control of the game.
“I’m so happy that baseball season is here,” Fisher said. “The biggest thing this weekend was our offense. Last year, we kind of struggled. But this year, we’re raking on offense.”
Nyberg got the win on the mound in relief of Orchard, allowing just two hits in three innings. Yates pitched the final two innings and allowed no hits, striking out four.
“We saw some good things, and some things we need to work on,” Ipson said. “We had some good games and the weather cooperated. It was fun to be able to come out and put the work we’ve been doing to the test.”
Dixie, 4-0, will host the Kent Garrett Dixie Sunshine Classic next week with Skyridge Friday at 1 p.m. and Fremont Friday at 7 p.m. The Flyers will then battle Wasatch at 1 p.m. Saturday and then hope to play in the Sunshine Classic championship game at 7 p.m.
Pine View 6, Park City 5
The Miners gave one run back in the bottom of the fifth when Jagun Leavitt scored on a Park City error, but it was still 5-1 and Pine View had managed just five hits off of PC pitcher Ryan Brady.
But Brady left the game after five and the switch was turned on after that for the Panthers. In the bottom of the sixth, Cody Riddle and Makai MacLellan walked, followed by a single to left field by Ryke Erikson. Jarod Stirling then drew a full-count walk to force in a run and make it 5-2.
The next batter, lead-off hitter Kory Taigan, ripped a double down the line to bring home two runs and cut the Park City lead to 5-4, still with no one out.
After a pop-up out, Leavitt hit a ground ball to short and the Miners tried to cut Stirling down at the plate. The throw was late and the Panthers had come all the way back from 5-0 down to tie the game. And they weren’t done. Erik Sanchez stepped up and hit a deep fly ball to center that scored Taigan with the go-ahead run and made it 6-5.
Leavitt then retired three of the four batters he faced in the top of the seventh to secure the win.
Taigan ended up with two RBIs and Erikson had three hits in the game, while Leavitt got the win by pitching four innings of relief and allowing just one hit.
Pine View, 4-0, averaged 11.3 runs per game over the tournament. The Panthers will play host to the Red Rock Classic next week, with games at Hurst Field and Panther Field. PV will battle Bonneville (Ida.) at 5 p.m. Thursday at Hurst Field to open the tourney and will battle Spanish Fork, American Fork and Timpanogas over the weekend.
Desert Hills 8, Stansbury 2
Desert Hills 10, Copper Hills 0
In the early game, Trey Winget had two hits and Brigham Gardner and Chad Nelson each doubled as Desert Hills built a 7-0 lead over the first five innings. The run support was more than enough as starter Dallen Turner had it on cruise control. The sophomore pitcher allowed just a second-inning single over five innings of shutout work against the Stallions.
The early win earned Desert Hills a spot in the Classic’s championship game and a rematch against Copper Hills, who the Thunder had beaten 4-3 on Thursday night.
But this time around, it was all D-Hills. The Thunder scored six runs in the bottom of the first, with Trey Winget starting things off with a double and Seth Betts chasing him home with a triple over the center fielder’s head.
DH also got RBIs in the inning from Nelson, Bronson Andrus, Mason Creager and Winget in the first inning.
Trey Allred scored on a wild pitch in the third to make it 7-0 and Betts knocked Allred home in the fifth to make it 8-0.
The only suspense left was if DH could shorten the game via the 10-run mercy rule and that happened in the bottom of the sixth. Creager sacrificed home Landon Levine with one out to make it 9-0 and Allred came through with a two-out single to right that brought home Konner Blomquist and ended the game.
Perhaps lost in all the offense was the outstanding performance of Thunder pitcher Drew Thorpe. He went the entire six innings and allowed no runs and just four hits. The sophomore threw just 76 pitches and didn’t walk a single Copper Hills batter.
Allred, Creager, Winget and Thorpe all had two hits in the game as Desert Hills compiled 10 base knocks as a team. Six of those 10 hits went for extra bases.
Desert Hills, 4-0, will play Northridge on Thursday night at DHHS (7 p.m.) and then host another invitational next week with Friday’s opener against Westlake at 7 p.m. and then more games on Saturday.
Hurricane 10, Union 0
Mike Lacy pitched five shutout innings and also socked a double in the Hurricane win. Nick Horsley went yard with a towering three-run shot in the second inning.
“Nick Horsley had our biggest highlight with a 400-plus foot three-run home run to dead center,” said Tigers coach Jon Homer. “Michael Lacy pitched really well for us.”
Noah Humphrey also had a great game, collecting three hits (including a double), three RBIs and three runs scored. Alec Flemetakis delivered a triple in the game. Hurricane ended up with 10 hits and scored all 10 runs in the first three innings.
Lacy’s four hits allowed were all singles and Union only got one runner past second base the entire game. Lacy also allowed just one walk in the outing.
Hurricane, 2-2, will co-host the Kent Garrett Dixie Sunshine Classic with Dixie. The Tigers will open at home with Woods Cross on Friday at 1 p.m. and will also play Mountain View and Springville.
Snow Canyon 3, Syracuse 2
Lehi 7, Snow Canyon 5
But Jensen, who allowed just six hits and no walks in eight innings of work, finally got the upper hand in the end. After he pitched a perfect top of the eighth, Garver watched in dismay from the dugout as Snow Canyon’s Austin Deming led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk-off home run off the Syracuse reliever.
Just like that, game over.
Garver had allowed just seven hits and two unearned runs in his seven innings, but he did give up a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Tanner Howell came home on an error and Cannon Secrist hit a sac fly to plate Parker Ence.
Ence and Davis Rigby had two hits each for Snow Canyon, but all seven of SC’s hits were singles until Deming’s game-winning dinger.
The win gave the Warriors another game against Lehi, who they had beaten 5-4 on Friday night. This time around, the Pioneers were dominant for the first 5 1/2 innings, building a 7-0 lead behind pitcher Jason James.
The Warriors started to get to James in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, James hit Jensen, then gave up a single to Jamison Day. Rigby followed with an RBI single to make it 7-1. Deming followed with a two-run single and it was 7-3 with still two down.
After a walk by Secrist, Lehi made a pitching change. Braden Baker greeted the new pitcher with a single to left to load the bases, setting up a two-run error on a ball to right field by Matt Kitchen that made it 7-5.
Snow Canyon was able to get the tying run to the plate in the seventh after a one-out single by Jensen, but the game ended with consecutive groundouts by the Warriors. Brayden Peterson got the save for Lehi. Tanner Howell took the loss for SC.
The Warriors, 2-2, will host the Snow Canyon Classic next weekend, starting with a Friday 7 p.m. meeting with the Provo Bulldogs.
Cedar 10, Carbon 0
Cedar scored at least one run in five of the six innings, including a four-spot in the second and three runs in the fourth.
Markus Johnson had three hits, including two doubles, and also collected two RBIs in the blowout win for Cedar. The Redmen had 10 hits, including five doubles (two by Johnson and one each by Jaden Hulet, Brandon Johnson and Travis Tait).
Brandon Johnson was lights out on the mound for the Redmen, allowing just one hit and one walk in pitching the complete game. He struck out three and threw just 66 pitches.
Cedar next plays at Payson Friday afternoon with first pitch at 3:30 p.m.
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