High school baseball: Snow Canyon, Timpanogos, Dixie and Desert Hills opened 4A state tournament bracket play with wins

Snow Canyon beat Crimson Cliffs in the 4A state tournament at Salt Lake Community College on Monda.
Snow Canyon beat Crimson Cliffs in the 4A state tournament at Salt Lake Community College on Monda. | James Edward

Dixie 10, Ridgeline 6

In the opening round of the 4A state tournament, Dixie got past Ridgeline 10-6 in a game that ended up being a lot closer than many would have thought after the first inning.

After sending 12 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning and scoring eight runs, it seemed top-seeded Dixie was well on its way to advancing to the next round of the tournament.

Ridgeline had other plans however, as its offense chipped away at the deficit as the game went on and was able to put some pressure on Dixie towards the latter innings of the game.

Dixie, though, was led by leadoff hitter Ridge Erickson who had 3 RBIs on the night. Boston Vest also had a stellar game at the plate, going 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs a single and a double.

“The first inning was obviously the difference in the game. We talked a little bit about our approach and how we wanted to stay steady at the plate. I think that’s why we had success. We kind of got away from that and tried to gather it back up towards the end of the game. We just can’t try to do too much at the plate. When we do we don’t have success,” said Dixie head coach Danny Ipson.

While Dixie could not have asked for a better start to the game, Ridgeline starting pitcher Easton Hammond had an outing he hopes to forget.

Hammond was unable to get out of the first inning, hitting three batters and allowing a potent Dixie offense to get out in front early.

“The biggest thing is to recognize what we do well, capitalize on that and emphasize that. We can’t get too big or too far ahead and just try to grind out some at-bats. I feel like we did that really well in the first inning and got away from it. We just have to continue to do it,” Ipson said.

Desert Hills 9, Bear River 7

After an hour and a half rain delay, Desert Hills got the best of Bear River, coming from behind to win 9-7.

Desert Hills was led at the plate by Talon Marble, who was 2 for 4, including a home run.

The winning pitcher for Desert Hills was Crew Christensen, who came on in relief and pitched three strong innings with four strikeouts.

Bear River was the one to get off to a fast start, scoring five runs in the first two innings to take a 5-0 lead. Bear River had three straight singles to start the game, and one by Holden Potter scored Talon Marble from second base.

After Potter eventually made his way to third base, he ended up scoring on a sac fly, with Bear River tacking on another run later in the inning and taking a 3-0 lead after the first frame.

Marble did damage again at the plate for Bear River in the second inning, getting a two-run home run to left field on a ball that didn’t look too deep at first before a gust of wind did enough to get the ball over the fence.

Bear River pitcher Degan Rigby started to lose control of his command in the bottom of the second inning and with the bases loaded, Desert Hills scored two runs back-to-back on wild pitches to cut into the deficit.

From that point on, the momentum quickly swung in favor of Desert Hills and the Thunder never gave it up.

The bats suddenly came alive for Desert Hills in the third inning. Desert Hills tied the game up on an RBI single to right field by Haigen Reed that scored a runner from third and Beau Wall hit a line drive that bounced over the Bear River left fielder, allowing two runners to score, thus tying up the ballgame.

As the game went on, it was clear that Desert Hills was in complete control, and it was only a matter of time before it grabbed its first lead of the game.

That moment occurred in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jace Fillmore launched a towering three-run home run over the left field fence, a ball that was never in doubt.

Desert Hills would add an insurance run in the in the bottom of the sixth inning on its way to grabbing the win and advancing in the tournament.

Bear River tried to rally in its last at-bats in the seventh inning and the Bears scored two runs to make it interesting, but in the end the deficit proved too large to overcome.

Snow Canyon 3, Crimson Cliffs 2

With as well as Snow Canyon smashes the ball, it’s easy to forget sometimes that it can play pretty good defense, too.

In each of the last three innings in Monday’s 4A state tournament game, No. 7 seed Crimson Cliffs put the tying run on base, and each time the No. 2 seed Warriors turned a double play to spoil the threat as they held on for the 3-2 win at Salt Lake Community College.

Two of the double plays were hard-hit line drives that spoiled a leadoff double in the fifth inning and a leadoff single in the seventh.

“That was exciting, because we’ve been on the other end it seems like more often than not on those, so it was nice to be able to turn the double play,” said Snow Canyon coach Reed Secrist.

With the win, Snow Canyon moves on in winners bracket and will play again on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Crimson Cliffs, meanwhile, will play in an elimination game at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Both games will be played at SLCC.

Secrist and Crimson Cliffs coach Justin Abbott each took different approaches to their pitching staff on Monday.

Snow Canyon threw its ace Kyson Goates, and he was outstanding in scattering seven hits with no walks over seven innings to earn the win as 54 of his 68 pitches were thrown for strikes.

Abbott, meanwhile, elected to start sophomore Madden Smith, who hadn’t pitching an inning of varsity baseball all season. Smith was outstanding as well, and the strategy nearly paid off from Crimson Cliffs as Smith only allowed three runs on five hits to a team averaging 8.9 runs per game.

He did walk four, however, and Snow Canyon made him pay.

After Crimson Cliffs opened the scoring in the top of the first with an RBI triple by Jason McArthur than scored Tyler West, Snow Canyon responded quickly with two runs in the bottom of the first. Free bases helped make it happen.

Snow Canyon ‘s first three runners reached base to start the game with a single, walk and hit batter. Makaio Swenson proceeded to score on a double-play ground out, and then Damon Ence scored on a wild pitch for a quick 2-1 lead.

In the second, Andrew Lyon came around to score after reaching base on a walk for the 3-1 lead.

Crimson Cliffs pulled a run back to make it 3-2 in the third inning as West scored on an RBI ground-out by McArthur, but neither team scored the rest of the way.

Both teams hit the ball hard enough to generate some big innings, but a strong wind blowing in from left field led to several long flyball outs instead of home runs.

“We’re kind of a fly-ball hitting team, but that kind of shut some things down, but it shut it down for them cause they hit some balls pretty good,” Secrist said.

Timpanogos 3, Park City 2

With one swing of the bat, Luke Livingston erased all wrongdoing for Timpanogos on Monday at the 4A state tournament.

His walk-off triple with pinch runner Dash McCann standing on first base made amends for five Timpanogos errors, the last of which helped Park City tie the game in the top of the seventh inning.

“I don’t think of us any worried about all those mistakes. We don’t really let those mistakes go to our head, we just keep playing through them,” said Livingston, whose triple lifted the T-Wolves to the 3-2 win over Park City at SLCC in the opening day for bracket play of the state tournament.

“I’ve been seeing the ball really good these past few days and it’s been showing hopefully.”

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Kayden Harding got plunked to get a free pass to first base. Livingston then drove the second pitch of his at-bat deep over the head of Park City’s right fielder, allowing McCann to circle around the score.

“I was wanting fastball all day and then he gave it to me and I just made the most of what I expected,” said Livingston, who went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs.

Livingston leads Timpanogos in hitting this season, and was the perfect batter to come to the plate in the seventh.

“He’s been swinging it well lately, so it was good to have him up in that spot,” said Timpanogos coach Kim Nelson.

With the win, Timpanogos advances through the winners bracket and will face Snow Canyon on Tuesday at SLCC at 4:30 p.m. Park City will play an elimination game at 11 a.m. against Crimson Cliffs.

Timpanogos opened the scoring in the third inning with a sacrifice fly to left field by Livingston, and doubled the lead as Harding hit his own sacrifice fly to left field for the 2-0 lead.

Even though the Timpanogos defense made five errors on the day, it also had some big plays to keep Park City off the scoreboard until the seventh.

In the third and fourth innings Park City put its first two runners on base, but in both innings the threat was quelled with an inning-ending double play.

Park City finally broke through in the seventh inning as No. 8 hitter Keller Hill led off with a double. He then scored on a Tage McKinley RBI single. A groundout and then a throwing error brought Jakob deVries to the plate with two on, and he singled up the middle to tie the game.

With the go-ahead run at second, Timpanogos reliever Brighton Tate came on to get a strikeout and ground out heading into the bottom of the seventh.