Region 9 boys baseball recap: Preseason kicks off through snow and rain

ST. GEORGE — It took plenty of Diamond Dry and resilience for Dixie baseball to claim its first win of the 2021 preseason on Thursday. 

Dixie baseball vs. Springville, St. George, Utah, March 11, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

As all local teams did, the Flyers had to fight through bad weather to even get their slate of games in. Dixie was set to host a tournament with three other teams visiting, but rain and snow threatened those plans. Eventually, after the skies cleared, the Flyers cleared off Don Lay field, added extra dirt and was ready to play ball. 

Their opening contest against Springville, originally slated for 3 p.m., didn’t start until nearly 4. They also had to pause the game near the midway point to treat the infield again.

Combine the conditions with a multi-extra inning game and finally, after 7 p.m., the first game of the season went in the books with the Flyers securing a 5-4 win over the Red Devils after a back-and-forth extra inning contest that ended on, of all things, a dropped popup on the infield.

Rather than celebrating the walk-off victory, Dixie kindly waved goodbye to Springville before hustling to the shovels, tampers and dirt bags to get the field ready all over again. They played another game shortly after, with a third game on the schedule for the field after that with two visiting teams. After a day off on Friday, they took their next win Saturday.

Elsewhere in the St. George area, other teams in other tournaments had their own bouts with the weather. Cancellations and reschedules were rampant and even resulted in a Region 9 preseason matchup.

Here are recaps from every region team as the 2021 prep baseball season kicked off.

Canyon View (1-3)

The Falcons burst out against 2A Enterprise on March 8, mercying the Wolves 15-5 in a seven-run sixth inning. Davin Roundy hit a ball into left field for a single before an error by the Enterprise left fielder allowed a pair of runs to score on the last play of the game.

Tommy English and BoDee Burrows each had two hits, and Burrows led Canyon View with three RBI. On the mound, Carson Hopkins gave up three runs in the first, but Brayden Winn, Jake Garrett and Roundy combined to only give up two more in the final five innings.

The rest of the week didn’t go as well. The offense went cold with the weather on Friday as the Falcons dropped a doubleheader against Spanish Fork and Snow Canyon by a combined score of 23-0. The Warriors no-hit the Falcons in their nonregion contest, and Canyon View recorded only two knocks against Spanish Fork.

On Saturday, Canyon View fell 15-6 to Uintah. The Falcons allowed an eight-run second inning, including three runs scored either by hit by pitch or walk. The Utes scored three more runs than hits in the game.

Canyon View plays at Richfield next on Tuesday.

Cedar (1-1)

The Reds topped Parowan 9-5 at home on March 8 on the strength of a five-run sixth inning. Cedar had entered the frame with a slim 4-3 lead, and the Rams’ last-inning two run rally proved essential in the victory.

Cedar then had games on Thursday and Friday canceled due to weather before managing to squeeze in a 6-1 loss to 5A Payson on Saturday. Thomas Carter drove in the Reds’ only run, and Kolby White hit a double, also taking the loss on the mound. After scoring the only run of the game to that point in the first, the Lions exploded for five more in the fourth inning. Cedar broke through in the sixth.

Cedar travels to play the Carbon Dinos on Tuesday.

Crimson Cliffs (3-1)

The Mustangs started what they hope to be the program’s first complete season on a three-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 24-7 in the wins as they hosted the Crimson Tournament.

It started with a 13-7 win over 2A Beaver on Friday as the Mustangs rallied for seven runs out of the gate. The Mustangs got a trio of triples in the frame, one each from Matt MacArthur, Trey Evans and Logan West. Beaver eventually countered with a five-run inning of their own in the fourth to make the score 8-7 in favor of Crimson. In the bottom half, Evans hit a two-RBI double to cap a five-run response of the Mustangs’ own. 

Tate Maynard had three hits in the game, and Jayz Estridge drove in three runs. Jaxon Richey accounted for all seven runs allowed on the mound, but only three were earned. AJ Johnson threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to finish the effort.

Crimson capped Friday with a 3-0 victory over Cedar Valley. Chase Hansen twirled four shutout innings allowing only two hits and striking out five. Estridge pitched a hitless fifth inning to seal the win. Evans recorded another triple and drove in a pair.

The Mustangs topped that performance on Saturday as Jaiven Ross allowed only one hit across five innings and struck out nine. He retired the first nine batters he faced, five by strikeout. No batted ball left the infield in the stretch. 

Offensively, West recorded a three-hit game and scored all three times to lead the way. Estridge drove in three, including two on a double in the fourth.

Saturday concluded with a 7-6 loss to Westlake as a seventh-inning rally came up just short. The Mustangs had the tying run on second with one out in the bottom of the seventh after already scoring a pair of runs before a strikeout and fly out ended the threat. 

Crimson Cliffs has four games scheduled for this Friday and Saturday before Region 9 play begins.

Desert Hills (3-0)

The Thunder finally got the chance to hang their 2019 state championship plaque entering their first game Thursday. Over the next two days, they would show poise to do it again in three wins by a combined score of 19-3.

Desert Hills started by shutting out Wasatch 2-0 on Thursday. The Thunder themselves would only scratch across five hits, but some timely, grouped hitting got the job done. The Thunder scored in the next at-bat following both of their doubles in the game. Jackson Turley started the scoring with a single, driving in Chandler Reber, who had just doubled, in the bottom of the fourth. An inning later, Luke Orchard drove in Taylor Mosher on a sac fly. Mosher was a courtesy runner for catcher Jake Bean, who doubled.

On the mound, Kaden Terry struck out 12 batters in six innings and allowed only three hits. Reggie Newby closed the door in the seventh with a strikeout and a walk.

The next day, the Thunder topped Salem Hills 7-2. The game was scoreless until the fourth, when Salem got on the board and the Thunder countered. Karson Irvin, Reber and Bean each had multi-hit games for Desert Hills and Payton Gubler struck out 11 in five innings of two-hit ball.

On Saturday the Thunder closed out the weekend sweep with an 11-1 mercy rule no-hitter of Sky View. Mosher, Eric Olsen and Orchard combined to allow nine baserunners in the five-inning victory despite not allowing a hit. They issued seven walks. 

Mosher was tagged for the only run allowed after hitting a batter to lead off the third and issuing a pair of walks, after which he was relieved for Olsen. The new pitcher allowed a ground ball that scored a run. Olsen issued two walks himself in the frame but escaped the jam with a pair of pickoffs.

Reber and Irvin each drove in a pair of runs as the Thunder also put together a timid hitting performance. They only recorded five hits but walked eight times. 

The Thunder host the Desert Hills Open with three games on top this weekend.

Dixie (3-0)

The Flyers went back and forth with Springville to secure its first win Thursday. Dixie eventually pulled away 5-4 on a lucky play as the second baseman dropped a popup that would have been the third out in the ninth to advance to the tenth, instead allowing the winning run to score.

Dixie baseball vs. Springville, St. George, Utah, March 11, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

The extra innings placed-runner rule came into effect, meaning each inning starting with the seventh would have a runner start on second base. The runner scored five out of six times, with only the runner in the top of the ninth not capitalizing. He was thrown out at home following a throwing error on a bunt to advance him to third. The first baseman recovered in time to make the play at the plate.

Dixie scored in each of the two first innings before the Red Devils tied it in the fourth. Cayson Bell started the game for the Flyers, allowing two runs in 3.1 innings as his pitch count climbed into the 70s and he was relieved. Derek Kesterson finished the fourth before Luis Acuna took over, allowing only two hits in the final five innings to secure the win.

Dane Thorpe had the only multi-hit effort for Dixie with two. Boston Vest, who scored the game-winning run, drove in a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice.

In the late game, neither Dixie nor Maple Mountain scored until the fourth in the Flyers’ 5-3 win. Maple scored a single tally before Dixie countered with three on five straight base runners to start the inning. Acuna and Jaxon Mackelprang each had a pair of hits, and each had an RBI and a run.

Malcolm Bartholomew struck out nine in five innings. 

Friday’s game with Payson was canceled before Dixie topped Bear River 7-1. Brieten Oaks had three hits and was a double shy of the cycle. Thorpe and Bartholomew each had two-hit games. Greyson Erickson tossed five innings, striking out seven, walking two and allowing four hits. He issued the Bears’ only run, which was unearned.

Dixie plays the Jordan Beetdiggers on the road Friday.

Hurricane (1-2)

The Tigers played three games at home, falling to Murray 12-7 to start the season. Murray, the designated home team, scored 11 runs in the first three innings including six in the third to pull away. Hurricane scored seven runs but only recorded two hits: a single by Mason Shumaker and a triple by Jaxon Jones. Murray committed six errors and issued four walks.

On the mound, Shumaker only issued two hits in his two innings of work but allowed five runs. His reliever, Trenton Percival, was dinged for six runs, but only one was earned. Six of Murray’s 12 runs were unearned in the contest.

The Tigers split a doubleheader on Friday. First, they lost 2-0 against Highland. The offense only mustered three hits, all singles. Two came off the bat of Kel Webb. Josh Wright had a strong game on the mound, allowing only four base runners in four innings and striking out five. Neither of his runs allowed were earned.

In the second leg, the Tigers got in the win column. Casey Robinson, Sam Johanson and Webb combined to one-hit Grantsville in five innings as Hurricane pulled off the 2-1 victory. Robinson issued three walks and hit three batters but did not allow a hit in his three innings of work.

Webb scored the team’s first run of the season after doubling in the second and scoring on Robinson’s single later in the frame. They won in walk-off fashion after Wright drove in Tanner Pastor in the fifth, who doubled to start the inning.

Hurricane hosts Wasatch on Friday to conclude preseason play.

Pine View (3-0)

The Panthers allowed only five runs across three games to kick off their season.

It started with a one-hitter of Union on Thursday and a 7-2 victory. Union did all of their offensive damage in the first. Brandon Roundy issued a leadoff walk, then watched the next two batters reach on errors, resulting in a run. The second came on a sacrifice fly. The Cougars scored two runs on no hits.

Union wouldn’t record a hit in the game until Tyler Walker singled on a grounder to third. It ended Roundy’s outing after allowing the two unearned runs in five innings and striking out five. Keaton Brooksby closed out the sixth.

Dylan Becker and Luke Iverson each recorded a pair of hits for Pine View. Four different players had RBIs.

On Friday, Brock Roundy got things started for the Panthers with an RBI triple in the first, later scoring. Corner Canyon scored its only run of the game in the second before Pine View piled on three more in the third en route to the win. 

Brock Roundy dominated on the mound, striking out eight in four innings.

Finally, Pine View scored five runs on four hits to best Green Canyon, 5-2 in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader.

Luke Iverson threw three shutout innings of relief after Hunter Stubbs allowed two runs in two innings. 

Pine View stole six bases in the win, two by Byron Cullison, who scored a pair of runs.

Pine View plays Wasatch on Friday in Hurricane to conclude their preseason calendar.

Snow Canyon (4-0)

The only team to get more than three games on their schedule, Snow Canyon won them all, allowing a lone run across four contests.

The Warriors no-hit Canyon View in their first game, a 13-0 rout on Friday. Josh Akins threw a perfect five innings with six strikeouts. He threw 39 of his 48 pitches for strikes.

Offensively, Landon Frei’s grand slam capped a five-RBI performance. Mason Strong had three hits as well for Snow Canyon. Luke Anderson scored four runs from the leadoff spot. Collectively, the Warriors drew nine walks and only struck out five times.

In a second Friday game, Uintah mustered two hits as Cam Terry dominated on the mound for the Warriors. He tossed seven complete innings with eight strikeouts and a walk. The two hits were singles.

Frei posted three hits and Strong and Mayze Mosher each posted two in the win. They collectively drove in all four RBI in the team’s 5-0 win, including a home run by Strong.

To start Saturday, Snow Canyon posted its third shutout in as many games in a 12-0 win over Lehi. Strong hit a bases-clearing double in the fifth to clinch the mercy rule in walk-off fashion and earn three of his five RBI in the contest. He and Anderson each had three hits to lead the offense.

Isaac Lyon allowed three hits in three innings, striking out five and Jake Johnson threw two innings of relief, allowing two hits. Again, the Warriors’ opponent did not manage an extra-base hit.

It would be Spanish Fork that finally scored against Snow Canyon in the nightcap. Their run didn’t come until the sixth and final inning on a Zac Dart homer. 

Other than that, Snow Canyon starter Carston Herman allowed only one hit, a double to Hunter Rasmussen, and struck out 13 batters in his six-inning complete game. Lyon scored a pair of runs and Jackson Ence had a pair of hits in the win.

Update March 17, 2:45 p.m. Names corrected

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