WEST JORDAN — Two bitter rivals collided Wednesday with a chance to play for the 4A state baseball championship on the line. After a tightly fought game, the Snow Canyon Warriors emerged victorious, sending the Dixie Flyers home in disappointment, 3-1.
The Warriors will face off against No. 5 Mountain Crest in a best-of-three finals after beating Dixie for the third time in four games this season. They did so on Wednesday by containing the Dixie offense while trying to figure out how to score on their own. After chipping away for four innings, the dam broke open in the fifth, and Snow Canyon jumped ahead with the lead that would ultimately decide the contest.
Dixie took an early lead after Shea Anderson singled and Brieten Oaks doubled off Josh Akins to lead off the game. Jacob St. Cyr singled and Jaden Davis was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Akins averted further damage.
Snow Canyon got the run back in the second as Oaks issued four walks in five batters. Easton Rigby trotted home after Isaac Lyon drew the fourth ball in his plate appearance. Oaks walked seven total in his 2.1 innings in the start but allowed no further damage beyond the one run. Dane Thorpe was responsible for the final 3.2 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits.
The game held at 1-1 until the fifth when Landon Frei hit a one-out double. After Mason Strong flew out, Mayze Mosher traded places with Frei to take the lead, and Sam Lindsey subsequently traded places with Mosher to expand it.
The Flyers brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth after Thorpe doubled but failed to advance him. They did so again in the seventh when Anderson reached on an error but again could not convert. Dixie left seven runners on base in the game.
Josh Akins struck out six Flyers in his 6.2 innings of work to secure the win. Frei came in to get the final out, striking out Oaks to end the contest.
Shea Anderson and Strong each had two hits, leading their teams. Luke Anderson singled and drew two walks for Snow Canyon, reaching base three times.
The loss ended a rollercoaster Flyers season that still ended on a high note.
“The work and the effort that goes on to get this point, people just don’t see it,” Dixie head coach Danny Ipson said. “We knew early in the season it was going to be a bit of a bumpy road. It was a tough schedule. We told everybody, ‘Don’t judge us early, judge us late.’ Coming in to this game, if we would’ve said, ‘Hey, we’re going to hold Snow Canyon to three runs,’ I would’ve taken that in a heartbeat.”
The Warriors start their series with the Mustangs on Friday. Snow Canyon will have a chance to claim their first state title since 2013 and Region 9’s fifth straight.
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