Region 9 baseball teams off to strong start in preseason play

Dixie's Blake Oaks slides safely into third against Springville, St. George, Utah, March 14, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A little over a week since the start of the preseason baseball schedule, three Region 9 teams still sport unbeaten records.

Dixie, Desert Hills, Pine View and Snow Canyon all went 4-0 last week, but as another weekend of invitational tournament action got underway Thursday night, Dixie and Desert Hills both picked up shutout wins, but Pine View dropped a late night 3-0 decision to Wasatch.

Snow Canyon will put its unbeaten record on the line Friday night when the Warriors face West High and Spanish Fork in back-to-back evening games to wrap up the first day of its own two-day Snow Canyon Invitational.

Dixie is looking to win its third straight 4A state championship this year. The Flyers beat Snow Canyon in the championship game in 2017 and edged Desert Hills 1-0 for the state title in 2018. All three Region 9 teams are expected to be strong contenders again this season, and each is hosting an invitational tournament as preseason play wraps up this weekend.

Here’s a team-by-team recap of each Region 9 school’s baseball action to date:

Dixie

Dixie pitcher Cooper Vest. Dixie vs. Springville baseball, St. George, Utah, March 14, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

All four of Dixie’s wins last week were by convincing margins. At the Donnie Pymm First Pitch Classic in St. George March 8-9, Dixie beat Juab 9-1, Bonneville 22-0, Payson 11-2 and Bear River 11-1. Dixie pitcher Cooper Vest, a junior, threw a no-hitter against Bonneville, going the full five innings, allowing no walks and striking out 14. He also went 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run and two doubles, knocking in 5 RBIs.

Thursday at the Kent Garrett Sunshine Classic at Dixie High, Vest pitched another gem as the Flyers shut out Springville 10-0. Vest allowed only one hit in five innings.

The Flyers next face Clearfield Friday at 1 p.m. as the Sunshine Classic continues.

Desert Hills vs. Northridge baseball, St. George, Utah, March 14, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Desert Hills

The Thunder went 4-0 during their home invitational tournament March 7-9, including beating Copper Hills twice by the same score. In between the 11-1 victories over the Grizzlies, the Thunder also beat Orem 3-0 and Fremont 8-2.

This week, the Thunder are hosting the three-day Easier Accounting Invitational. Desert Hills started things off with a 4-0 win over Northridge Thursday evening, with Dallen Turner picking up the win on the mound, allowing just two hits.

Friday, the Thunder will host Las Vegas at 7 p.m. The invitational continues with a couple more games starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, with matchups to be determined by who wins on Friday.

Snow Canyon

At the KJ Harrison Classic hosted by Snow Canyon March 7-9, the Warriors won all four of their games. Snow Canyon beat Cimmaron Memorial, Nevada, 8-3 on Thursday and Lehi 1-0 on Friday, followed by two wins over Syracuse on Saturday, by scores of 8-0 and 8-3.

This week, Snow Canyon is hosting the Snow Canyon Classic, with the Warriors playing the final two games of the day on Friday. After playing West High at 7 p.m, Snow Canyon will play Spanish Fork in a late game starting at 9:30 p.m. The Warriors will wrap up the weekend with a game against Provo on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Pine View

The Panthers hosted four games in three days March 7-9, winning all four contests. The Panthers defeated Union 6-0 on Thursday, followed by a 17-1 win over Green Canyon and a 6-2 victory over Timpview, both on March 8. Pine View then outlasted Moapa Valley, Nevada, 6-3 on Saturday, with junior hurler Daniel Elder picking up the pitching win.

This weekend, Pine View is hosting Spring Kickoff Classic in conjunction with Hurricane High. The Panthers started things off with a 3-0 loss to Wasatch late Thursday evening. Pine View is scheduled to play two games on Friday: against Bonneville, Idaho, at 6 p.m., followed by a contest against Stansbury starting at 8:30.

Hurricane

Last week, Hurricane went 2-2 at the Tiger-Panther Classic it hosted in conjunction with Pine View March 7-9. Hurricane defeated Kearns 6-2 on the first day and Grantsville 4-1 on March 8, but the Tigers lost to Moapa Valley, Nevada, 8-2 on March 8 and fell to Green Canyon 11-4 on the final day.

“We played really well in two games, including one against a very good Grantsville team,” Hurricane head coach Shane Johanson said this week. “It’s early and we need to focus on sharpening our defense and deepening our pitching. This weekend, we hope to take a step up in both those categories and to compete hard.”

As this weekend’s Spring Kickoff Classic wrapped up its first day Thursday night, Hurricane picked up a dramatic 6-5 victory over Tooele. The game was tied in the bottom of the eighth inning when Cayden Street’s sacrifice fly brought in the game-winning run. Relief pitcher Nate Horsley picked up the win.

The Tigers are scheduled to host Hunter and Highland on Friday evening, with game times at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively. That will be followed by another contest Saturday, with opponent and game time to be determined based on Friday’s results.

Cedar

The Cedar Redmen started off their preseason with an 8-5 loss at home to Enterprise on March 5. Later that weekend, Cedar went 1-2 at the Donnie Pymm First Pitch Classic in St. George. The Redmen beat Box Elder 16-5 but lost to Bear River 6-5 and to Carbon 5-3.

This week, Cedar is playing at the Spring Kickoff Classic in Hurricane. The Redmen rolled to two convincing wins on Thursday, as they defeated Sky View 10-3 and Highland 11-1.

“Tanner Eyre threw Game 1 against Sky View and threw a complete game. He did a really good job for us today,” Cedar coach Eric Fieldstead told St. George News Thursday night. “Gavin Imlay threw all five innings of the second game and also did a great job keeping hitters off balance and throwing a lot of strikes.”

Offensively, Cedar junior Andre Castaneda had a great day at the plate, going 5-for-7 with a home run, three doubles and 7 RBI. Teammates Trevor Brunson and Tyler Robinson added RBI triples as well.

Friday, the Redmen are scheduled to face Tooele at 4:30 p.m, also at Hurricane. Cedar will play again on Saturday, with time and opponent TBD.

Canyon View

The Falcons went 2-2 in their first four preseason games, which were played at the KJ Harrison Classic at Snow Canyon March 8-9. Canyon View started off with a 16-4 loss to Syracuse on March 8, followed by a dramatic 8-7 win over Cimarron Memorial, Nevada, later that day. The Falcons allowed seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to fall behind 7-3, but rallied to bring in five in the top of the seventh.

Canyon View also went 1-1 on Saturday, defeating Skyline 18-2 in the morning but losing to Lehi 14-2 later that day. Josh Macinnis was the winning pitcher in the Skyline game, as the Falcons pounded a total of 12 hits.

This week, the Falcons lost a home game to Enterprise on Tuesday, hours before another big snowstorm blanketed Cedar City. The Falcons fell behind 3-0 in the second inning and were never able to recover against the Wolves, who went on to win 11-3 in seven innings.

Canyon View’s scheduled games this week at Richfield and at Enterprise were canceled due to snowy weather, but the Falcons do have two games scheduled at St. George on Saturday: against Roy at 10 a.m. and against Springville at 1 p.m.

With the preseason wrapping up this weekend, the Region 9’s schools will be looking ahead to the start of the regular season on Tuesday, with Canyon View playing at Pine View at 3 p.m., Hurricane playing at Cedar at 3 p.m. and Snow Canyon playing at Dixie at 7 p.m. Desert Hills has a bye. Over the next several weeks, each team will then play the other six teams in the region twice, once at home and once away, until every team has played a total of 12 region contests.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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