Baseball roundup: ‘Red Lightning’ strikes with walk-off homer for Dixie win; STGNews video highlights and postgame

Canyon View at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Apr. 16, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Every great ballplayer needs a great nickname and Dixie star Braxton Ipson, who ended Wednesday’s game in dramatic and sudden fashion, certainly fits his — Ipson is “Red Lightning.”

dixie-smcanyon-view-smThe big redhead hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Flyers a 2-1 victory over Canyon View and lift Dixie back into the playoff race. The Dixie senior also pitched a gem of a game, hurling eight innings of three-hit baseball, allowing the Falcons just a single run.

“I’ve never done that before, hit a walk-off home run like that,” Ipson said. “This was my first one. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Ipson and Zack Brinkerhoff, the two pitching aces of their respective staffs, put on a show for the several hundred fans in attendance at the rare Wednesday night game. Brinkerhoff was a little erratic early in the game, but wriggled out of a jam in the first and second inning to keep the Flyers off the scoreboard.

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Braxton Ipson with a mighty swing, Canyon View at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Apr. 16, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Braxton Ipson with a mighty swing, Canyon View at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Apr. 16, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

The Falcons squeezed the first run of the game home in the third inning when Keaton Kringlen singled home Jaden Black, who had walked and moved to second on a wild pitch.

The score stayed 1-0 all the way to the bottom of the seventh, although Dixie put together a big threat in the sixth, but left two men on.

Facing a loss that would have all but eliminated them from playoff contention, Dixie rallied in the seventh. With one out, Kody Hutchings beat out an infield single. He went to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a single by Chaz Hansen. Hutchings then sprinted home on a second wild pitch by Brinkerhoff, tying the game 1-1 with still one out and Hansen at second. Brinkerhoff induced back-to-back groundouts to end the inning and force the extra inning.

Canyon View went down in order in the top of the eighth, with Ipson picking up his fifth strikeout along the way. He was the leadoff batter in the bottom of the eighth and worked the count to 1-2. Brinkerhoff then threw him a curveball and got a little bit too much of the plate. Red Lightning made him pay.

With the win, Dixie once again finds itself in a huge logjam in the middle of the Region 9 standings. Four teams are at .500, including the Flyers (4-4), Snow Canyon (5-5), Pine View (4-4) and Cedar (4-4). Dixie, 11-8 overall, has four games left, with two next week against Cedar (Tuesday at CHS and Friday at DHS) and the final series against Pine View.

For Canyon View, which got a double from Jackson Vasi, the Falcons remain in second place with a 6-4 region record, 12-7 overall. CV has already had its region bye and closes out the season next week against Hurricane, which is 0-8 in region.

Snow Canyon 8, Cedar 7

snow-canyon-smcedar-smLike Dixie, the Warriors were in a must-win situation Wednesday night and it took a near-miracle comeback to get it done. In fact, this game had one of the strangest endings a baseball game can have.

Tied at 3-3 going into the seventh, Cedar looked like it was headed for a two-game sweep of the Warriors when it scored four runs in the top of the inning. But Snow Canyon put together an epic rally, tallying five runs of its own to take the crucial win.

The Redmen only committed one error in the game, but it was a pivotal one in the final rally that helped SC get the winning run home.

Josh Howard had a monster night, homering and doubling. Nick Dolce also doubled twice as the Warriors offense was able to overcome the six errors committed by the SC defense.

Trey Esplin homered and doubled for Cedar.

The Warriors improved to 11-8 and 5-5 and have a region bye next week. Snow Canyon finishes region play in two weeks with a series against Desert Hills.

The Redmen have two region series left. Next week Cedar, 14-5 and 4-4, battles Dixie (Tuesday at CHS and Friday at DHS) and in two weeks the Redmen face Hurricane.

Desert Hills 13, Hurricane 4

Desert-Hills-smhurricane-smThe Thunder cranked up their offense Wednesday night, scoring in six of the game’s seven innings en route to the nine-run victory.

Blake Betts had three RBIs and six different Desert Hills players had at least two hits as the Thunder racked up a 14-hit attack.

Even with all the offense, the scrappy Tigers hung with the first-place Thunder for the first three innings. Behind the hitting of Jay Williams (three hits) and Tyler Stout (two hits), Hurricane had the game all tied up at 4-4 through three.

But Desert Hills plated five unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings to gain a 9-4 advantage, then put the game away with four more in the top of the seventh.

Braiden Irvin returned from sickness to record two hits and also pitched scoreless inning for DH. Also with two hits were Betts, Dylan File, Clay Wilcox, Baden Powell and Jordan Evans. Evans scored the go-ahead run in the fourth by stealing home.

File got the win by pitching three and a third perfect innings of relief, striking out nine of the 10 batters he faced. The Thunder, 15-3 overall and 7-1 in region, now have a three game lead in the loss column over Canyon View. One more win will clinch the region title outright for D-Hills, which has series remaining with Pine View and Snow Canyon.

Stats: dhhur41714

Video produced by Dallas Griffin and Bryce Griffin

Region 9
Desert Hills 7 1 53 20 .875 15 3 132 33 .833
Canyon View 6 4 57 45 .600 12 7 116 90 .632
Snow Canyon 5 5 69 73 .500 11 8 140 130 .579
Pine View 4 4 51 51 .500 9 8 113 95 .529
Dixie 4 4 56 38 .500 11 8 124 89 .579
Cedar 4 4 39 26 .500 14 5 137 49 .737
Hurricane 0 8 21 93 .000 6 11 99 171 .353

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