ST. GEORGE – The three home teams never trailed on their own fields Tuesday night, with all three games ending up as one-sided affairs. Dixie rode the arm of ace Tyson Fisher against Desert Hills, while Snow Canyon brought the mercy rule into play against Pine View. And Cedar jumped out to an 8-0 lead en route to the victory over cross-town rival Canyon View.
Here’s our report:
Dixie 5, Desert Hills 0
Living up to standards of perfection can be frustrating. Take Fisher, for example. He has numerous varsity no hitters and his earned run average is smaller than the lifespan of a St. George snowman. But giving up four hits in Tuesday’s shutout of the Thunder was just ho-hum.
“I was a little tired from three days rest and I just had to battle and get through it,” Fisher said after striking out eight in his complete-game victory Tuesday. “My fastball was not there at all. I could barely throw a strike with it. I had to kind of live on my secondary pitches, which is not what I like to do. But I just went out there and battled.”
Truth be told, even a so-so Fisher is better than most.
“When he was warming up, we could tell he was laboring a bit,” Dixie coach Danny Ipson said. “But he’s always good. We got through that fifth inning and into the sixth and he’d still only thrown 74 pitches. It’s important to keep the pitch count down with him, cause he’s going to throw hard. But it’s always good to look and see him on the mound. It instills confidence in us.”
Dixie also got a lift early in the game from junior Blake Oaks. The No. 9 hitter ripped a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to plate the first runs of the game.
“I was very aware of the situation and I wanted to hit it hard and get us some runs,” Oaks said. “He threw me two fastballs in the dirt, so I was looking for a fastball in the strike zone and got one and ripped it.”
Oaks, who is hitting nearly .400 for the Flyers, said it’s not easy playing in the shadow of stars like Dixie’s Fisher and Hobbs Nyberg.
“Yeah, it’s tough,” he said. “What can you do? All I try to do is go out there and hit the ball hard and try and make a name for myself.”
Dixie slowly pulled ahead in the game, though the Flyers missed several opportunities to break the contest open.
“We came out a little bit nervous,” Ipson said. “Our in-and-out before the game was probably the worst one we’ve had all year. We were up for the game and ready to go, but saw some nervousness from our guys. And we’ve got to do a better job of executing with runners in scoring position.”
Ahead 2-0 in the third, Payden Harrah doubled in a run to make it 3-0 with one out. Cooper Vest then walked to load the bases. But Desert Hills reliever Lance Kinross managed to allow just one more run in the inning, on a single by Wyatt Woodland, before getting out of the jam with the bases still loaded.
Kayler Yates stole home on a double steal in the fourth to make it 5-0, but Dixie again left the bases loaded. All-totaled, the Flyers left 12 men on base and went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
But with Fisher on the mound, the lead was never really threatened. He retired Desert Hills in order in three of the seven innings and mowed down 10 of the last 11 batters to end the game.
“When you get runs on the board early, it makes it so you can be a lot more aggressive pitching,” Fisher said. “Then if you give up a double or a run, you don’t have to worry so much. You know the offense can lift you up.”
With the shutout, Fisher’s ERA improves to 0.37 on the season. He is 3-0 with 34 strikeouts in 19 innings this season. Fisher also had two base hits at the plate, as did Payden Harrah. Oaks, Harrah and Chase Lundin all had doubles for Dixie, which is 12-2 overall and 1-0 in region play. The Flyers rapped out 10 hits and had four walks in the game.
Desert Hills, which fell to 8-3 overall and 1-2 in region play, had four hits, including a double by Jayden Peterson. Jarron Polu got his first varsity hit and also walked.
The two teams will reprise the rivalry Thursday night at Thunder Field. First pitch is 7:30 p.m.
Snow Canyon 10, Pine View 0
With ace Breck Eichelberger on the mound, Snow Canyon just needed a little in the bottom of the first to start to tip the scales in its favor. The Warriors, instead, got a lot. Travis Davenport and Austin Deming hit back-to-back homers and Snow Canyon brought 10 men to the plate (seven of them scoring) in the first inning en route to the blowout win.
After a three-up, three-down top of the first by Eichelberger, the Warriors got a lead-off walk from Austin Staheli. Davenport then stepped up and launched a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence. Deming then followed with a 2-1 homer, also to right. The 3-0 start was not enough for the rallying Warriors.
After Stephen Gubler walked, Zack Nowatzke made it 4-0 with an RBI double to center field. Three straight walks pushed home Nowatzke and made it 5-0, chasing Pine View starter Bridger Barney. Cody Riddle came in and forced Brock Secrist into a double play ball, but another run came home on the play and it was 6-0. Jed Jensen then scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-0.
The Warriors made it 8-0 in the second on an RBI by Gubler and the score stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Tim Shakespeare lined a shot into right field to score Davenport and Deming and end the game via the mercy rule.
Eichelberger went all six innings for SC, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out eight. The senior right-hander has yet to allow an earned run in 20 innings of work this season.
Davenport led the Snow Canyon offensive attack, gathering three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs. He had a double, a triple and a homer. Shakespeare had two RBIs and Seth Smith reached base in all three of his plate appearances.
Weston Sampson and Luke Green had two hits each, gathering four of Pine View’s five base knocks. Riddle allowed just one earned run in five innings of relief work.
Snow Canyon, 14-1 overall and 3-0 in region, will play at Pine View (8-2, 2-1) Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.
Cedar 9, Canyon View 5
It sounds like kind of a close game, but it wasn’t. The Redmen dominated from the get-go, racing out to an 8-0 lead in the first four innings. Seven Falcon errors fueled the fire for Cedar, which led 9-2 going into the sixth.
It was 1-0 in the bottom of the third when the Redmen broke things open. Markus Johnson had a no-out double to bring in a run and make it 2-0. He came home on an error as it went to 3-0, then Andre Castaneda doubled in another run to make it 4-0. Jake Jenkins’ single brought in two more Cedar runs and it was 6-0, still with no one out. A Falcons error brought in the seventh run of the game in that inning and the eighth run in the next inning.
Trace Harden and Joey Lambeth had RBIs to cut it to 8-2 in the fifth, but Cedar responded with a run of its own on a double by Ethan Boettcher in the bottom half.
Bridger Bunnell went the distance for Cedar, allowing five runs and eight hits to Canyon View in picking up his third win of the year. He struck out five and walked none. Boettcher and Castaneda had two hits each for Cedar, which improved to 6-5 overall and 2-1 in region play.
Harden had three hits, including a double, and Parker Holmes had two for the Falcons, who fell to 5-7 overall and 0-3 in region play.
The two teams meet again Friday, this time at CVHS, at 4 p.m.
Tuesday’s Region 9 results
Dixie 5, Desert Hills 0
Snow Canyon 10, Pine View 0
Cedar 9, Canyon View 5
Region 9 standings (region, overall)
Snow Canyon 3-0, 14-1
Dixie 1-0, 12-2
Pine View 2-1, 8-2
Cedar 2-1, 6-5
Desert Hills 1-2, 8-3
Hurricane 0-2, 5-6
Canyon View 0-3, 5-7
Dixie at Desert Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Pine View, 7:30 p.m.
Cedar at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
North Sevier at Hurricane, 7:30 p.m.
Hurricane at Richfield, 3:30 p.m.
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