ST. GEORGE – Jed Jensen and the Snow Canyon Warriors rolled past Hurricane and into a tie for first place Friday night. Not to be outdone, Drew Thorpe and the Desert Hills Thunder stymied Pine View hitters to earn a split with the Panthers as the season makes its way to the final two weeks.
Jensen was very good for the Warriors, but Thorpe was absolutely enthralling for the Thunder. The 6-foot-4 junior hurled seven innings of no-hit baseball – the sixth no hitter tossed by a Region 9 pitcher this season – and allowed no walks or hit batsmen. Only a single Desert Hills defensive error kept Thorpe from a perfect game.
Here’s a look at Friday night’s action:
Desert Hills 5, Pine View 0
Thorpe faced 22 batters, retiring 21 of them. An error at second base in the third inning allowed Pine View’s Porter Dombrowski to reach first base with one out. Dombrowski would be stranded there, and would end up being the only base runner the Panthers had all night against Thorpe.
“Drew pitched awesome,” said Desert Hills coach Chris Allred. “(We) played good defense behind him and did a good job of putting the ball in play. Great team effort and energy. He located everything tonight.”
Thorpe was so in control late in the game that he ended up striking out the final six Pine View batters in a row. In the bottom of the seventh, Thorpe faced the meat of the Pine View order in Tanner Staheli, Cody Riddle and Dawson Staheli. He fell behind 3-1 to Tanner Staheli, but then struck him out swinging. He fanned Riddle swinging on just three pitches.
Then, with the no hitter hanging in the balance, Thorpe struck out Dawson Staheli looking on a 1-2 count for his 12th strikeout of the game.
Thorpe entered the game with a 1.44 earned run average and an opponent’s batting average of .157. Both those numbers are excellent, but pale in comparison to his post-game statistics. After the Friday masterpiece, Thorpe’s ERA drops to 1.20 and his opponent’s batting average is a paltry .134. Thorpe improves his season record to a region-best 7-1. And he did it all on just 78 pitches, 61 of those being strikes.
It also helped that Thorpe’s teammates got him a lead early.
In the top of the second inning, Bronson Andrus tripled on a line drive over the center fielder’s head. The next batter, Jayden Peterson, singled to right to bring Andrus home and make it 1-0. Peterson then went to third on a single by Jaxton Reber and came home to score on an RBI hit by Mason Creager.
Tanner Staheli, who threw a no hitter of his own last week against Cedar, kept it a 2-0 game until he was relieved in the fifth. Staheli allowed six hits and those two earned runs in four innings of work.
The Thunder bumped the lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth when Andrus struck again, this time with an RBI double that scored Kayden Goodman. Andrus, who leads the region in triples with six, was thrown out at third trying to collect his seventh.
Thorpe then helped his own cause in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, he scorched a single through the hole and into left field that scored teammates Bryker Hurdsman and Bo Barben to make it 5-0.
That was more than enough for Thorpe and the Thunder defense. After the error in the third inning, Thorpe retired 14 straight batters to end the game.
Andrus and Thorpe led D-Hills with two hits each. The Thunder had nine hits total and drew five walks.
Desert Hills improves to 13-5 overall and 6-4 in region play. The Thunder have a two-game set with Snow Canyon next week and then have a region bye the last week of the regular season.
Pine View, 11-5 and 4-4, battles Dixie next week, then finishes the year with two games against Canyon View.
Snow Canyon 7, Hurricane 1
Some new stars have emerged for the Warriors this year, with guys like Austin Staheli, Tim Shakespeare and Braden Baker coming through with big seasons. But Austin Deming is making sure no one forgets who he is.
The senior, who has committed to play for BYU next season, went 3 for 3 with a single, a double and a home run as the Warriors won going away. Deming’s fifth-inning homer, his region-leading seventh of the season, was a towering shot that easily cleared the 20 foot double fence in straightaway center field.
“I’m just trying to hit it hard every time,” Deming said. “When I hit it out, well, you can’t be mad about that. Obviously it makes me happy, being able to help my team out. That’s all I’m trying to do is help us win.”
It was quite a week for Deming, who had a single, a triple and a homer on Tuesday against the Tigers. He ended up 6 for 7 with two singles, a double, a triple and two homers in the two games. His batting average went from .475 to .515 and he now leads the region with seven homers, eight doubles, 30 runs scored and a slugging percentage of 1.045.
“He’s been a pretty special player for us for all four years,” SC coach Reed Secrist said. “He does such a fantastic job. We’re certainly going to miss him after this year. He’s a great kid, a humble kid and it’s great to be around him.”
Jensen did his part as well, going the distance on the mound, allowing just four hits and one unearned run. He struck out seven and walked three. And he did most of the work after taking a line drive off his leg in the top of the second inning.
“I went out to check on him and he didn’t tell me to go back in the dugout, but he told me he was fine and didn’t need me out there,” Secrist said. “He’s a pretty tough kid and I’m glad he was all right.”
The Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. A Hurricane error with two on allowed the first run to come home. Zack Nowatzke followed with a two-run single to up the lead to 3-0.
Baker led off the second with a triple to the gap in left-center field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Staheli to make it 4-0.
Deming doubled and came home on a sac fly by Stephen Gubler in the third to make it 5-0.
After Deming’s homer in the fifth made it 6-0, the Tigers were able to push a run across in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Stevenson that plated Austin Wright.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth after Baker hit his second triple of the game. He came home on an RBI by Brock Secrist.
Snow Canyon is now 20-1 overall and tied with Dixie at 8-0 in region play. The Warriors host Desert Hills Tuesday night as part of a two-game set vs. the Thunder.
Hurricane, 7-12 and 0-8, got two hits from Brian Long and Brock Starley had a hit and a walk. The Tigers battle Canyon View next week, with Tuesday’s contest at CV.
Dixie 9, Cedar 2
Desert Hills 5, Pine View 0
Snow Canyon 7, Hurricane 1
Region 9 standings (region, overall)
Snow Canyon 8-0, 20-1
Dixie 8-0, 19-2
Desert Hills 5-5, 13-5
Pine View 4-4, 11-5
Cedar 4-6, 9-10
Hurricane 0-8, 7-12
Canyon View 0-8, 5-13
Westlake at Cedar, 1 p.m.
Westlake at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Hurricane at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Desert Hills at Snow Canyon, 7:30 p.m.
Pine View at Dixie, 7:30 p.m.
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