After splitting games during the regular season, the Pine View Panthers and Cedar Redmen met Friday evening — in the winner’s bracket — for the right to advance to the 3A title game on Saturday.
In a back and forth game, and with both teams having several chances to win, it was the Panthers who came away victorious in a tough 5-2 victory.
“I didn’t have my best game, but the defense really stepped up for me and helped me out,” Panthers pitcher Harrison Goebel said.
The Redmen loaded the bases in both the second and third innings against Goebel, but couldn’t come away with any runs. For the game, the Redmen left 12 runners on base.
“Harrison is just competitive in whatever he does,” Pine View coach Mike Gargano said. “He just gets the job done time in and time out regardless of what he puts himself into. Hats off to him, I’m very impressed with how he finishes.”
“I don’t really worry about the runners,” Goebel added. “I just focus on the next batter and on my next pitch. If they make contact, I have confidence that our defense will make a great play.”
Second baseman Logan LaFemina made a couple of nifty plays to help thwart any Redmen comeback.
“Logan is a stud,” Brooks Barney said. “He made some great plays to save us and we have a terrific group of guys out in the outfield. They are so fast and get to every ball.”
Barney relieved Goebel on the mound to start the seventh inning and made sure to make the most of his opportunity. With his blazing fastball and curveball, Barney struck out all three batters to give the Panthers the win and a trip to the 3A title game.
“I just wanted to go in and throw strikes and everything was really working for me,” Barney added. “Seeing the way that our defense was playing, I was pretty confident going in.”
Cedar got on the board first, thanks to a wild pitch from Goebel to put the Redmen up one after the first inning.
But the Panthers came storming back to take the lead after a two-run second inning. Dakota Donovan and Barney got things started with a pair of singles. Barney’s RBI single scored Donovan who went for it all after a bad relay by the Redmen. Kash Walker the added an RBI single to center to score Barney who just beat the throw at home to go up 2-1.
But Cedar wouldn’t go away and tied the score the very next inning thanks to a solo home run by Brecken Lewis over the left field wall.
But just like always, Pine View quickly answered with a run in the top of the fourth to go up 3-2.
The Panthers added two more runs in the top of the seventh thanks to RBI singles from Hunter Hansen and a beautiful bunt down the third baseline from Blake Ence, to put the Panthers up 5-2.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Gargano said. “They played great, but we still have to take care of business tomorrow. We’ll enjoy the win tonight, but its back to business as usual tomorrow.”
Pine View will face either Snow Canyon or Cedar in the 3A title game at 11 a.m. at Bruce Hurst Field.
Cedar and Snow Canyon will play at 9 a.m. for the right to go up against Pine View for the state title.
Follow Justin Giles on Twitter @Justingiles22 .
Pine View 5, Cedar 2
Pine View 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 — 5 13 0
Cedar 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 2 5 2