Region 9 baseball: Playoff picture gaining focus as top 3 teams win again

Pine View at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, April 26, 2019 | File photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Region 9 baseball playoff picture is not yet completely clear heading into the final week of the regular season, even though the region’s top three teams all won again Friday night.

First-place Dixie won at home against Cedar, with the Flyers improving their record to 9-1 with two games left to play, both against Pine View next week. Meanwhile, fourth-place Cedar dropped to 5-7 with Friday’s loss to Dixie, meaning that either Pine View or Hurricane (currently tied for fifth with 3-7 records) still has a chance of catching Cedar, which is idle next week. Pine View’s path to a possible playoff berth is decidedly more difficult, as the Panthers would have to beat Dixie twice next week, whereas Hurricane would just have to beat last-place Canyon View twice.

Should Hurricane (or Pine View) finish 5-7 and tie with Cedar for fourth place, the teams would have to face each other in a play-in game on a neutral field, time and location to be determined, to see which team advances to the 4A state playoffs as Region 9’s No. 4 seed.

Meanwhile, Desert Hills and Snow Canyon, the region’s second- and third-place teams, respectively, face each other twice next week. The Thunder are 8-2 in region play, one game ahead of the Warriors, who are 7-3.

Following is a short recap of Friday night’s action.

Desert Hills 2, Pine View 0

Desert Hills pitcher Drew Thorpe, Pine View at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, April 26, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

At Desert Hills, the Thunder’s Drew Thorpe pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and four walks while striking out eight batters. The game was scoreless until Bronson Andrus drove in both of the Thunder’s runs with a line-drive single to center in the bottom of the sixth. Pine View’s Hunter Stubbs, who also pitched the whole game and allowed just two hits, took the loss for the Panthers.

Dixie 8, Cedar 4

At Dixie, the Flyers broke open a close game with a three-run rally in the fourth, capped off with a two-run homer by Kayler Yates, to defeat the Cedar Redmen 8-4. Brenden Blanchard, who pitched the first four innings for Dixie, picked up the win on the mound, while Cedar starter Andre Castaneda took the loss.

Snow Canyon 9, Hurricane 5

At Hurricane, the Snow Canyon Warriors pounded a dozen hits as they pulled away from the Hurricane Tigers, 9-5. Snow Canyon scored four runs in the top of the third to take a 5-0 lead, but Hurricane answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of that same inning, the second one coming in on an error after a batter was hit by a pitch. Hurricane then scored three more runs in the fith to pull within one run, 6-5, but Snow Canyon tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh and final inning. Brock Secrist was the winning pitcher for Snow Canyon, while Hurricane starter Jagger Hadley took the loss.

Nest Tuesday’s schedule is as follows: Canyon View plays at Hurricane, Dixie plays at Pine View and Snow Canyon plays at Desert Hills, with all three games scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Region 9 baseball standings (as of April 26)

Dixie 9-1 (17-3)
Desert Hills 8-2 (20-3)
Snow Canyon 7-3 (17-6)
Cedar 5-7 (11-11)
Pine View 3-7 (8-11)
Hurricane 3-7 (9-12)
Canyon View 1-9 (5-14)

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