4A state baseball: Desert Hills, Dixie remain alive in tournament; Snow Canyon and Cedar eliminated

Dixie baserunner slides into second safely as Tooele's second baseman leaps for the errant throw, Ogden, Utah, May 15, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

OGDEN — Although two Region 9 teams were eliminated from the 4A state baseball tournament on Wednesday, the region’s top two seeds remain very much alive.

Playing at Lindquist Field in Ogden, second-seeded Desert Hills stayed undefeated in postseason play with a 5-2 victory over Spanish Fork, Region 10’s No. 1 seed.

Meanwhile, top-seeded Dixie faced region rival Snow Canyon in the one-loss bracket Wednesday afternoon, with the Flyers coming from behind to win 4-3 in extra innings. Later that night, Dixie cruised to an 11-2 win over Tooele.

Also on Wednesday, fourth-seeded Cedar went 1-1, with the Redmen finding themselves on opposite ends of blowouts that had similar scores. Cedar first rolled past Orem 11-2, then lost to Bear River 12-2 a few hours later.

Following are brief recaps of Wednesday’s tournament action involving Region 9 teams, along with a look ahead to Desert Hills’ and Dixie’s next contests.

Desert Hills 5, Spanish Fork 2

The Thunder trailed 1-0 after two innings, but Desert Hills scored three runs in the bottom of the third, thanks to a two-run double by Drew Thorpe and an RBI single by Blake Milne that brought in Thorpe.

Desert Hills vs. Spanish Fork, Ogden, Utah, May 15, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

The Dons led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to cut the deficit to one, but Desert Hills tacked on a couple more runs in the bottom of the fourth, with Landon Levine hitting a solo homer and Thorpe driving in another run with a single.

With reliever Milne taking over on the mound for starter Thorpe in the fifth, the Thunder’s defense was able to hold the Dons scoreless over the final three innings to clinch the victory.

“It was a great team effort today,” Desert Hills coach Chris Allred said. “Kinross and Milne pitched well, and Thorpe and Levine had big hits.”

The Thunder earned a day off with the win, as Thursday’s schedule is filled with games in the one-loss bracket.

Desert Hills next plays Salem Hills in the semifinals on Friday at 4:30 p.m. The winner of that contest will advance to Saturday’s championship game, while the loser will face the last remaining team from the one-loss bracket. Click here to see complete bracket and schedules.

Dixie 4, Snow Canyon 3 | Dixie 11, Tooele 2

In a game where Dixie never led until the very last pitch, Cooper Vest hit a walkoff solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Flyers a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 win over region rival Snow Canyon.

Dixie vs. Tooele, Ogden, Utah, May 15, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Neither team scored until Snow Canyon got a run off a fielding error in the fourth. The Warriors added another run in the fifth, with Brock Secrist scoring on a wild pitch. Dixie’s Ajay Leavitt then put the Flyers on the board with an RBI single to center in the bottom of the fifth.

Snow Canyon capitalized on yet another Dixie miscue in the sixth as Cade Guerosoli, who’d walked earlier, scored on a wild pitch. That put the Warriors ahead 3-1.

Dixie failed to score in the bottom of the sixth, but the Flyers managed to tie the game by getting two runs in the seventh. Leavitt brought in the first run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, after which Hunter Knighton drove in the second run with a fielder’s choice ground out to third. Dixie’s Blake Oaks then flew out, sending the game into extra innings.

Snow Canyon’s Cole Johnson singled to lead off the eighth, but following a sacrifice bunt, the next two Warrior batters both grounded out, leaving Johnson stranded at third.

Dixie went three up and three down in the bottom of the eighth, after which Snow Canyon proceeded to load up the bases in the top of the ninth, thanks to a pair of singles and a walk. However, none of the runners was able to score, as Johnson flew out to left for the third out.

Dixie vs. Tooele, Ogden, Utah, May 15, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Vest, Dixie’s first batter in the ninth, then sent a 2-1 pitch from Snow Canyon reliever Landon Frei over the right field fence for the game-winner, thereby ending the Warriors’ season.

Kayler Yates, who took over at the beginning of the seventh for Dixie starter Vest, threw the final three innings and picked up the victory.

Later that evening, the Flyers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against Tooele, then powered their way to an eventual 11-2 victory. Shortstop Yates went 4-for-4 at the plate and scored five runs while driving in five runs. Yates homered twice, while Oaks also had a home run for Dixie. Leavitt, who pitched the first five innings, was the winning pitcher.

The Flyers next play Lehi, Region 10’s No. 2 seed, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner of that contest will then play at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Spanish Fork vs. Bear River game to be played at 1:30 p.m.

Cedar 11, Orem 2 | Bear River 12, Cedar 2

Cedar broke open a tight game against the Orem Tigers Wednesday at Weber High School, with the Redmen scoring seven runs in the fifth inning to take an 11-2 lead that ultimately held up as the final score.

Cedar vs. Bear River, Ogden, Utah, May 15, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Tanner Eyre pitched the entire game for Cedar, giving up six hits while walking one and striking out five.

“This morning, Tanner Eyre did what he does and threw the baseball really well for us,” said Cedar head coach Eric Fieldstead. “Our bats were really good. Bridger Bunnell hit a double and a triple, and Kolby White added two hits as well, as did Trevor Brunson.”

Later that evening against Bear River at Lindquist Field, the Redmen opened up a 2-0 lead in the top of the second but never scored again, as the Bears scored 10 unanswered runs and won 12-2 in five innings.

“Bear River was really good,” Fieldstead said. “They had some guys that really swung the bat well and we had a few tough breaks on some balls that we hit really well.”

Fieldstead said he was pleased with his team’s progress this season.The Redmen finished 15-14 overall and earned the region’s No. 4 playoff spot.

“Overall, I am really proud of our kids and their competitive spirit and their willingness to work to improve themselves in the offseason and throughout the year,” Fieldstead added.

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