Nyberg leads Dixie to another mercy win; D-Hills completes sweep of Falcons

Dixie's Chase Lundin (34), Dixie vs. Hurricane, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 6, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Dixie continued its dominant ways Friday night, shutting out Hurricane 10-0 for the Flyers’ fourth straight shutout. Dixie has outscored its foes 38-0 in four region games. Meanwhile, one of those victims, Desert Hills, won its second straight game over Canyon View to improve to 3-3 in region play.

Here’s a recap of Friday’s action:

Dixie 10, Hurricane 0

Hobbs Nyberg is starting to get into a groove. The senior infielder had a double and a home run, his third and fourth extra-base hits of the week, and improved his batting average to .482 in leading the Flyers to the mercy-rule victory. Nyberg had more RBIs this week (nine) than he had the whole season leading up to this week (six).

“He’s energy for our program and for our club,” said Dixie head coach Danny Ipson. “He’s the guy that is our motor and keeps us going. It’s just a matter of time that he’s going to see some pitches and he’s going to put some swings on it and he’s our leader at the top of our lineup. We look to him to lead us and we have all the confidence in the world that he will do that.”

Dixie’s Hobbs Nyberg (9), Dixie vs. Hurricane, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 6, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Nyberg’s double in the bottom of the third broke a scoreless tie and his two-run home run in the fourth pushed the lead to 6-0. The homer came on a bizarre at-bat that saw two pitches nullified by balk calls on Hurricane pitcher Rylee Kent. The first one would have been the third strike for Nyberg. The second was ripped off the fence in right field, but was also nullified by the balk call. On the next pitch, Nyberg belted the ball deep over the right field fence.

“It was pretty confusing cause he threw that strike three, but it was a balk so I didn’t swing,” Nyberg said. “The next pitch I hit it and it was going to be a double or a triple, but they took that back and I was kind of bummed out. It was a little confusing, but then he just left me a fastball right over the plate and I put a good swing on it.”

Kent kept the Tigers in the game early, holding Dixie scoreless for the first two innings. In the third, Blake Oaks and Nyberg finally got Dixie on the board, but it could have been just a one-run inning if not for a little shaky Hurricane defense. Dixie hit two balls in the gap that were high enough for the Tigers to make a play on, but they did not. The result was a four-run inning after a double by Chase Lundin and a single by Kayler Yates.

Dixie’s Blake Oaks (27), Dixie vs. Hurricane, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 6, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Nyberg’s dinger made it 6-0 in the fourth and Dixie got a three-run triple by Reggie Graff to take the Flyers to the verge of the mercy-rule win.

“I just try to do my part on defense and get hits when I can,” Graff said. “I don’t think there’s a lot of pressure on us. We have a very deep team and there are a lot of guys that can step in and get the job done.”

The game-ending run came home on a wild pitch that scored Graff after his three-run triple.

Meanwhile, the Dixie pitching staff was once again nearly unhittable. Tyson Fisher made his second start of the week after hurling just three innings and 42 pitches on Tuesday. He was not quite as sharp this time around, allowing two hits and two walks in four innings of work. But he’s set himself up with a pretty high standard after hurling no hitters and 18-strikeout games in the past. Yates pitched the fifth inning and allowed a walk, while striking out two batters.

Dixie, 15-2 overall and 4-0 in region play, finished with eight hits, five of those for extra bases.

Hurricane’s two hits, both singles, were by Kyle Stevenson and Brian Long. Brock Starley drew a pair of walks. The Tigers fall to 7-8 overall and 0-4 in region play.

Dixie battles Canyon View next week, with Tuesday’s game in Cedar City at 4 p.m. Hurricane takes on Desert Hills with Tuesday’s meeting at Thunder Field at 7:30 p.m.

Desert Hills 3, Canyon View 0

Sometimes people forget that Drew Thorpe is an elite pitcher for the second straight year in Region 9. Let Friday’s two-hit shutout serve as a reminder of how good Thorpe really is.

The junior Thunder star struck out eight and allowed no walks in shutting down the Falcons, outdueling Canyon View star Trace Harden. Although Harden pitched well, allowing just one earned run and five hits in the game, Thorpe was even better, using just 84 pitches in the complete game.

File photo, Desert Hills’ Drew Thorpe (2), Cedar vs. Desert Hills, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 23, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Drew pitched great – gave up (just) two hits,” D-Hills coach Chris Allred said. “(The) score didn’t reflect it, but we hit the ball hard, but at people. (And we) played error-free, defensively.”

Thorpe actually had a perfect game going through four innings. McCray Webster broke it up with a solid single to center field to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Thorpe then plunked Quinn Spevack with one out to put two men aboard. But he struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

Joey Lambeth singled in the sixth, but was also left aboard as no Canyon View base runner passed second base in the game.

Offensively, Desert Hills grabbed the lead in the top of the third. Bryker Hurdsman had a one-out double and moved to third on a single by Bo Barben. Trey Allred then laid down a bunt and reached on a Canyon View error that also scored Hurdsman. Thorpe then knocked Barben home with an RBI groundout to make it 2-0.

In the top of the fourth, Bronson Andrus led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mason Creager that made it 3-0, more than enough cushion for hard-throwing Thorpe.

Hurdsman and Andrus had the only extra-base hits of the game and there were only seven combined hits in the game.

Desert Hills, 10-4 overall and 3-3 in region play, faces Hurricane next week for two games. Canyon View, 5-10 and 0-6, plays two against Dixie.

Thursday’s Region 9 result
Snow Canyon 8, Cedar 7

Friday’s Region 9 results
Dixie 10, Hurricane 0
Desert Hills 3, Canyon View 0

Region 9 standings (region, overall)
Snow Canyon  6-0, 16-1
Dixie  4-0, 15-2
Cedar  3-3, 8-7
Pine View  2-2, 9-3
Desert Hills  3-3, 10-4
Hurricane  0-4, 7-8
Canyon View  0-6, 5-10

Next Tuesday’s games
Dixie at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Hurricane at Desert Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Cedar at Pine View, 7:30 p.m.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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