It wasn’t a record breaking day at the box office, but the Pine View baseball team had a record breaking performance Saturday.
Pitching his last game at Pine View High School during the opening round of the 3A state baseball tournament, Panthers senior pitcher Harrison Goebel had a game to remember.
The right-handed pitcher had a complete game to go along with six strikeouts en route to a no-hitter against Union.
Junior pitcher Dakota Donovan then followed it up with an incredible 16 strikeout performance in the following game to push Pine View one step closer to the 3A crown.
“It’s really fun to watch those guys play,” Pine View coach Mike Gargano said. “Dakota and Donovan are both great pitchers and when we need big stops, they are there to come through for us.”
Heading into the final two games of the season, Pine View was trying to hold off Cedar in what looked to be a battle for second and third place.
After two brilliant pitching performances from Goebel and Donovan, along with timely hits from their teammates, the Panthers swept Desert Hills to take the top spot in Region 9.
The home field advantage served the Panthers well and will now take the show just down the road to Bruce Hurst Field for the final games of the 3A playoffs.
Pine View will take on Carbon – one of just four teams left in the winner’s bracket – for the right to play the winner of either Cedar or Bear River on Friday.
The second seeded Dinos knocked off Park City, the top seed, and did so in front of its home crowd in Price.
Because of the wet conditions last week, the games were moved from Park City High School. After several other places not working out, Carbon ended up playing in its own backyard and the Dinos took full advantage of it with victories over Grantsville and Park City.
The Dinos will look to keep the upsets coming against Pine View. However, with Donovan and Goebel on the mound for the Panthers, the Dinos will go up against one of the most dominant 1-2 punches in the state.
“I like to live off my fastball,” Donovan said. “But I’ve been working on my curveball, and I like to throw that in as well.”
With his fastball reaching upwards of 90-92-mph, Donovan prides himself on getting ahead of batters early.
“Dakota has been able to throw a lot of early strikes and that’s helped him stay ahead in the count,” Goebel said. “He’s tough to hit against, especially when he gets ahead of you.”
Goebel won’t always blow batters away with his fastball, but his off-speed pitches is what makes him one of the most dangerous pitchers in the tournament. After getting ahead in the count, Goebel loves it when batters chase after his splitter.
“That’s my go-to pitch,” Goebel said.
“He has a lot of weapons,” Gargano added. “He’s able to get after batters, and doesn’t give batters a lot of good looks.”
Goebel’s recent no-hitter doesn’t come as a surprise to Donovan.
“Harrison has been great all year for us, and when he pitches like that, it gives the whole team confidence and really brings our team to life,” he said.
The Panthers are looking for some redemption this year after being in the same spot last year and coming up short.
“We have a lot more confidence this year, than we did last year,” Donovan said. “We had a great team last year, but we have a lot of talent this year and most of the same guys are back too.”
Coach Gargano has been in the Panther baseball program for four years now and took over the head coaching duties just two and a half years ago. One of the main draws of the position was the opportunity to develop a talented group of guys.
“I’ve grown with the seniors and have been able to spend a lot of time with them,” Gargano added. “They are a great bunch of guys and I love working with them everyday.”
Thursday’s winner will play the winner of Cedar or Bear River, Friday, at Dixie State University at 4:30 p.m.
Follow Justin Giles on Twitter @Justingiles22.