ST. GEORGE – The St. George Summer Classic baseball tournament began Wednesday night, with the host team, the St. George Sentinels American Legion team, putting together a near-perfect 10-0 victory over visitors from Jackson Hole (Wyo.) at Dixie State’s Bruce Hurst Field.
“We played a decent team from Jackson, Wyoming, and we just really executed well, got key hits, were aggressive on the base paths and had strong pitching,” Sentinels coach Shane Johanson said. “Alec started and threw very effectively to get the win. Jaiger Crosby threw the last 3 innings and was really strong.”
Jagun Leavitt started the scoring for the Sentinels. After Flemetakis worked out of a two-men-on jam in the top of the first, Leavitt led off the bottom of the inning by getting hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a single from Trey Allred and stole third. After Payton Higgins was also hit by a pitch, another Tiger, Nick Horsley, chased Leavitt home with a beautifully executed squeeze play.
But Horsley was just getting warmed up. He picked up his second, third and fourth RBIs of the game in the bottom of the third when he jacked a homer over the fence in left-center to make it 4-0. Johanson said it was the firestarter the Sentinels needed.
“Nick’s big 3-run homer put us up 4-0, and we never looked back,” he said.
Horsley, who had 24 RBIs last season for Hurricane (along with three homers and 13 doubles), got his fifth RBI of the game by lacing a double down the third-base line in the sixth that provided the final run of the game.
The Sentinels (8-5) had a total of 11 hits in the game, including three by Allred and two each by Horsley, Tobie Swenson and Dawson Staheli. Staheli had a double as part of a three-run fourth (which made it 7-0) and socked another one in the fifth that brought home two runs and made it 9-0. The 10th run came with one out in the sixth when Horsley brought Allred around from first on his hot-shot double.
The contest was part of the first day of the St. George Summer Classic, a 16-team tourney that features four days of games at Dixie State and local high schools. Teams involved are American Legion and non-American Legion squads. For instance, Cedar and Snow Canyon both have teams in the tourney, but do not have American Legion squads this season.
“I’m really excited about our tourney this year and tonight was a fun start,” said Johanson, who organizes the annual event. “We have tons of support from our local legionnaires as this is a key fundraiser for us. Plus we have some really good teams from all over the country – Vegas, Boise and Eagle, Idaho, Grandview and Golden, Colorado, and Cincinnati, Ohio.”
Games will be held at Hurst Field, plus Pine View, Dixie and Snow Canyon high schools. The complete list of teams involved in the tourney is as follows: St. George, Dixie, Cedar, Snow Canyon, Lone Peak, North Cache, Helper, Southern Utah Baseball Academy, Boise (Ida.), Eagle (Ida.) (two teams), Golden (Colo.), Grandview (Colo.), Faith Lutheran (Nev.), Jackson (Wyo.) and Cincinnati (Ohio).
As for the heat, Johanson said it was warm, but fun.
“It’s super hot, but it’s baseball and we love it,” he said.
The Sentinels, who have won six games in a row, play Helper Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Pine View High and then battle Cincinnati Friday at 8:30 p.m. at Panther Field before Saturday’s tournament finale.
The Dixie Pilots, in their first year as an American Legion squad, take center stage at Hurst Field Thursday night with a game vs. Golden (Colo.) at 8:30 p.m. Dixie then battles Eagle (Ida.) at 8:30 Friday night at Flyer Field.
The teams are seeded after the first three days of games and will battle in a playoff-type tournament Saturday for the STG Summer Classic championship. The championship game is scheduled for approximately 8:30 p.m. at Hurst Field on Saturday night.
On a side note, the Sentinels are also holding a youth baseball camp net week (June 27-28) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The camp is for young players from ages 6-12 at the Pine View High School diamond. Instruction will be provided by the coaches and players from the St George Legion Baseball team, consisting of top players from high schools across Southern Utah. Receive player-specific instruction on the skills and routines required for young players to develop into the champions they can be. Cost is $35 and includes a camp T-Shirt. Pre-registration is required for receipt of a T-shirt at the camp. Otherwise, the T-shirt will be available the week following the camp.
ST. GEORGE SUMMER CLASSIC SCHEDULE
(note: games are played morning and evening to avoid the heat of the summer days)
THURSDAY (time, teams, location)
9:30 a.m. – Cedar vs Lone Peak (Dixie State)
9:30 a.m. – SBA vs North Cache (Dixie High)
6 p.m. – Eagle AA vs Grandview (Dixie State)
6 p.m. – Jackson vs Cincinnati (Snow Canyon)
6 p.m. – Cedar vs Eagle A (Dixie High)
6 p.m. – Helper vs St George (Pine View High)
8:30 p.m. – Dixie vs Golden (Dixie State)
8:30 p.m. – Snow Canyon vs North Cache (Snow Canyon High)
8:30 p.m. – Boise vs SBA (Dixie High)
8:30 p.m. – Faith Lutheran vs Lone Peak (Pine View)
FRIDAY (time, teams, location)
9:30 a.m. – Cincinnati vs Helper (Dixie State)
9:30 a.m. – Eagle AA vs Golden (Snow Canyon)
9:30 a.m. – Grandview vs Dixie (Dixie High)
9:30 a.m. – Eagle A vs Lone Peak (Pine View)
6 p.m. – North Cache vs Boise (Dixie State)
6 p.m. – Helper vs Jackson (Snow Canyon)
6 p.m. – Grandview vs Golden (Dixie High)
6 p.m. – Faith Lutheran vs Cedar (Pine View)
8:30 p.m. – Faith Lutheran vs Eagle A (Dixie State)
8:30 p.m. – Snow Canyon vs Boise (Snow Canyon)
8:30 p.m. – Eagle AA vs Dixie (Dixie High)
8:30 p.m. – Cincinnati vs St George (Pine View)
Teams will be seeded based on pool play and then will play a tournament Saturday to decide the winner and placers at the 2017 St. George Summer Classic. The championship game is scheduled for approximately 8:30 p.m. at Hurst Field on Saturday night.
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