ST. GEORGE – There were some blazing fastballs on a scorching day of baseball Thursday. Or was it some scorching baseballs on a blazing day?
Either way, the two American Legion teams from Southern Utah, the Dixie Pilots and the St. George Sentinels, took to the heat like a rattlesnake to the underside of a desert rock, blasting opponents to the tune of a couple of mercy-rule wins.
The Pilots, boasting a nearly full squad for perhaps the first time this summer, downed Golden (Colo.) 11-1, with the stars from the Dixie High 3A championship baseball team shining bright in the lopsided win.
The Sentinels, not be outdone, racked up a couple dozen runs in a 24-2 win over Helper.
For the Pilots, Hobbs Nyberg, Tyson Fisher and a couple of other stars reunited for this tournament. Nyberg and Fisher, who also star on the Dixie football team, have been focused mainly on gridiron pursuits this summer. But the duo haven’t lost a step from that baseball championship. Nyberg had three hits and Fisher had a triple and a double (that missed being a home run by about three inches) to help the Dixie Pilots to the easy win.
The game started about an hour late at Dixie State’s Hurst Field after the previous game, which started at 6 p.m., went in marathon mode. That early game saw Grandview (Colo.) beat Eagle AA (Ida.) 21-20. In baseball. In the 110-degree heat.
Wyatt Woodland also had another good game for the Dixie Pilots, recording three hits, two for extra bases. Woodland ripped a double over the Golden left fielder’s head in the bottom of the fifth to chase home Fisher and make it 10-1. The next batter, Asher Anderson, singled Woodland home to activate the mercy rule just before 11:30 p.m.
“We were missing a guy or two, but for the most part we had our team here, which is what we were looking for,” Pilots coach Danny Ipson said. “We kind of wanted to air things out and see what we could do. It’s just business as usual for us. We wanted to get back to work, improve upon our game and get better at what we do. It was good get out here and swing the bats”
The Pilots scored two runs in the first, five in the second, two in the fourth and two in the fifth for their 11 runs on 13 hits. Ipson said although many of his baseball players are also Dixie High football players, they didn’t show any ill effect from the various summer football activities.
“Our football program does a great job of preparing our guys in the weight room and on the field with core and strengthening,” he said, with a nod to Flyers gridiron coach Andy Stokes. “It really plays hand-in-hand with what we’re trying to do.”
Dixie plays two games Friday, a 9:30 a.m. battle at Flyer Field against Grandview and then an 8:30 p.m. contest vs. Eagle AA, also at DHS.
The Sentinels, 9-5, have now won seven straight games over the past couple of weeks after starting the year with road losses to Vernal and Helper and a sweep at the hands of Pleasant Grove.
Thursday’s 22-run victory was sweet revenge for St. George after losing at Helper 5-2 in the second game of the summer.
The Sentinels play Cincinnati at 8:30 p.m. Friday night at Panther Field at Pine View High.
ST. GEORGE SUMMER CLASSIC SCORES AND SCHEDULE
6:00 – SBA (13) vs Snow Canyon (12)
8:30 – Jackson (0) vs. St George (10)
9:30 – Cedar (3) vs Lone Peak (8)
9:30 – SBA (4) vs North Cache (6)
6:00 – Eagle AA (20) vs Grandview (21)
6:00 – Jackson (2) vs Cincinnati (10)
6:00 – Cedar vs Eagle A (Dixie High)
6:00 – Helper (2) vs St George (24)
8:30 – Dixie (11) vs Golden (1)
8:30 – Snow Canyon vs North Cache (Snow Canyon High)
8:30 – Boise (6) vs SBA (4)
8:30 – Faith Lutheran (10) vs Lone Peak (5)
9:30 – Cincinnati vs Helper (Dixie State)
9:30 – Eagle AA vs Golden (Snow Canyon)
9:30 – Grandview vs Dixie (Dixie High)
9:30 – Eagle A vs Lone Peak (Pine View)
6:00 – North Cache vs Boise (Dixie State)
6:00 – Helper vs Jackson (Snow Canyon)
6:00 – Grandview vs Golden (Dixie High)
6:00 – Faith Lutheran vs Cedar (Pine View)
8:30 – Faith Lutheran vs Eagle A (Dixie State)
8:30 – Snow Canyon vs Boise (Snow Canyon)
8:30 – Eagle AA vs Dixie (Dixie High)
8:30 – 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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