Prep baseball: Sharp pitching cools down Panthers, Thunder

Pine View vs. Bonneville, Idaho, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 16, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Pine View and Desert Hills, two teams that started the season smokin’ hot last week, ran into some pretty good pitching Thursday night and the result was a blemish on each team’s previously perfect record.

Bonneville (Ida.) 4, Pine View 1

The Panthers racked up 45 runs in four victories last week, but just couldn’t get in a rhythm against big Bonneville (Ida.) left-hander Dalton Virgil.

Virgil struck out eight Pine View batters and scattered six hits through the seven-inning affair. He kept the Panthers off-balance all game.

“I really worked the outside part of the plate the first half of the game,” Virgil said. “Then, when they started going the other way with it, I changed things up and went inside and mixed in more curveballs. That’s a good hitting team. I knew they’d be tough outs up and down the lineup.”

Pine View’s Tanner Staheli (8), Pine View vs. Bonneville, Idaho, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 16, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Pine View coach Troy Wall said his team was a little out of sync in the game.

“That was ugly, I don’t know what was going on,” he said. “We swung at a lot of bad pitches and made it easier for their pitcher. I think we had three or four strikeouts on 3-2 counts on balls that were way out of the strike zone.”

Virgil, who is one of the top hitters for the Bees as well, said he tried to use the count to his advantage.

“I know as a hitter you tend to tense up and are more likely to swing on a 3-2 pitch,” he said. “I know the worst thing is to look at strike three when the count is full. That’s embarrassing.”

It also helped Virgil that his teammates got him an early lead to work with. Bonneville scored a run in the second inning on an RBI single by freshman outfielder Jordan Perez. In the third, Andrew Olaveson singled home a run to make it 2-0.

Pine View’s Jarod Stirling (13) makes a diving catch, Pine View vs. Bonneville, Idaho, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 16, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Virgil retired 10 straight Pine View batters, including 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth and fifth. In the top of the sixth, the Bees added a third run to their total when second baseman Tavyn Lords had an RBI triple to the gap in right-center.

Pine View finally broke through on Virgil in the bottom of the sixth. Jarod Stirling singled to lead off the inning. After a strikeout and a fly out, Jagun Leavitt provided the only real offensive highlight of the game for PV by tripling to deep center field, chasing home Stirling and making it 3-1.

Bonneville added a fourth run in the top of the seventh. Virgil marched out in the bottom of the inning and mowed down the first two Panther batters. But Erik Sanchez and Ryke Erikson both battled their way onto base with singles. Erikson’s came on a 1-2 count after he had fallen behind 0-2 and fouled off several potential game-ending pitches.

Pine View’s Ryke Erickson (4), Pine View vs. Bonneville, Idaho, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 16, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Bees then turned to right-handed reliever Caden Christensen, who got Stirling to ground out to first to end the game.

“We look forward to this tournament every year because there are a lot of good teams that come down to play,” Wall said. “One good thing about this game is our pitching was solid – it kept us in the game.”

Makai Maclellan went six innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits. All the hits were singles except the triple by Lords. Erikson had two hits for Pine View.

Teams attending the Red Rock Classic this weekend are Pine View, Bonneville, American Fork, Timpanogas, Spanish Fork, Pleasant Grove and Shadow Ridge. Most of the games will be played at Dixie State’s Bruce Hurst Field.

Pine View, 4-1, plays 4A power Spanish Fork at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Hurst, then will host 5A American Fork at 8 p.m. at PVHS. Saturday, Pine View plays Timpanogas at 1:30 p.m. at Panther Field.

Northridge 4, Desert Hills 2

A pair of Northridge pitchers, Jake Porter and Drew West, held the Thunder to just four hits and two runs. All four Desert Hills hits were singles. The Knights had just six hits, but took advantage of timely RBIs to take the win.

D-Hills threatened first, getting two men on with two outs in the bottom of the first off of Porter. Sam Rhoton had reached on a dropped third strike and Chad Nelson had walked. But the junior Porter got out of the jam by inducing a groundout to end the inning.

The Knights then seized the lead by plating two in the top of the second on an RBI by Hunter Harris and a Desert Hills error.

Rhoton cut the lead in half in the third with an RBI single that brought home Trey Winget. However, Northridge more than answered in the top of the fourth as Ethan Udy forced home a run with a one-out, bases loaded walk and Ryker Kap followed one batter later with a two-out, bases loaded RBI walk to make it 4-1.

Winget scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth, but West came in and retired six of the seven batters he faced (four on strikeouts) to slam the door and get the save.

A cache of Desert Hills pitchers kept the game close. Alex Ekins started and was given some sharp relief from Blake Milne, Dallen Turner and Maklain Briggs.

It was a strikeout party for both groups of pitchers. Porter and West combined for 13 Ks, while the four Thunder hurlers had 14 total strikeouts.

Desert Hills, 4-1, will continue in the Summit Invitational this weekend with a 7 p.m. Friday game against Westlake and likely two games on Saturday, with foes and times to be determined.

This weekend’s baseball schedule:

FRIDAY
Cedar at Payson, 3:30 p.m.
Kent Garrett Dixie Sunshine Classic – Dixie-Skyridge, 1 p.m. at DHS; Hurricane-Woods Cross, 1 p.m. at HHS; Hurricane-Mountain View, 4 p.m. @ HHS; Dixie-Fremont, 7 p.m. at DHS
Red Rock Classic – Pine View-Spanish Fork, 1:30 p.m. at DSU; Pine View-American Fork, 8 p.m. at PVHS
Snow Canyon Classic – Snow Canyon-Provo, 7 p.m. at SCHS; Snow Canyon-Skyline, 9:30 p.m. at SCHS
Summit Invitational – Desert Hills-Westlake, 7 p.m. at DHHS

SATURDAY
Kent Garrett Dixie Sunshine Classic – Hurricane-Springville, 10 a.m. at HHS; Dixie-Wasatch, 1 p.m. at DHS; Championship/consolation games tbd
Red Rock Classic – Pine View-Timpanogas, 1:30 p.m. at DSU; Championship/consolation games tbd
Snow Canyon Classic – Snow Canyon-Ridgeline, 1 p.m. at SCHS;Championship/consolation games tbd Summit Invitational – Desert Hills vs. tbd, 11 a.m.; Championship/consolation games tbd

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