ST. GEORGE – For the second straight week, Cedar swept a St. George school, and the Redmen have now made a 180-degree turn from a rough start to region play.
A week after taking two from Snow Canyon, Cedar completed its sweep of Dixie with a 5-1 road win Friday night at Don Lay Field.
“It’s a really big week for us to sweep this team,” said Cedar coach Eric Fieldsted. “They’ve been playing really good ball.”
Fieldstead noted that many of the Region 9 teams had overall records around 12-4, which is the record Dixie and Cedar both have.
“Everyone is playing well,” he said. “Every win in this region is a good win.”
Cedar’s win Friday came from a simple formula — limiting their own mistakes and exploiting Dixie’s miscues.
Dixie gifted Cedar extra opportunities with hit batsmen, wild pitches and errors. The Redmen cashed in.
“We capitalized,” Fieldsted said. “We got guys on base, they made mistakes and we capitalized. This game turned on mistakes. It’s like that in most games — the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins.”
Brecken Lewis scored Cedar’s first run when, with two out, Dixie couldn’t complete a routine second-to-first throw on a grounder, allowing Lewis to scamper home.
Cedar scored two more runs on wild pitches and another on a passed ball.
That factor played prominently in Cedar’s biggest rally — its two-run third inning. Ryker Tom led off with a single and Trey Esplin followed with a double. Tom then scored on a passed ball, and Esplin came home a wild pitch.
“Trey Esplin had a couple of really big swings for us tonight,” Fieldsted said. “He had that double that set us up to score those runs on the passed balls. He also had an RBI single for us in the sixth.”
Those third-inning runs put Cedar ahead 3-1, and the Redmen never relinquished that lead thanks to the pitching of Kyler Carrizosa.
Carrizosa, a junior, held Dixie to one run on in four innings.
“It’s huge keeping that team quiet,” Fieldsted said. “He got in some trouble with his control, but he gutted it out.”
Carrizosa worked out of three jams, but afterwards, in spite of limiting Dixie to just one run and getting the win, Carrizosa spoke almost regretfully of being in the jams in the first place.
“I was shaking out of my boots when I got under pressure,” he said.
He may have felt unnerved, but looked under control, limiting a potent Dixie lineup to just one run.
Despite how he felt in the moment, he was happy with the result.
“It felt really good (to hold Dixie to one run),” Carrizosa said.
Dusty Hanna pitched three scoreless innings in relief to pick up the save.
Hanna also had the catch of the night. When a line drive was rocketed several feet over his head, Hanna leapt off the mound and speared it with his glove.
Carrizosa also had a good day at the plate, leading off the fourth by belting a 2-2 off-speed pitch into right field for a triple.
Then, after Josh Boyer walked, Cedar executed a perfect hit and run to score Carrizosa.
As Boyer broke from first, the Dixie shortstop ran toward second to cover the bag. Tom slapped the ball to where the shortstop was standing prior to going to cover the base, and the shortstop had no play on the ball, allowing Carrizosa to score.
Desert Hills 9, Snow Canyon 7
Enterprise 3, Kanab 2, 8 innings
Delta 6, Parowan 5
Beaver 15, Diamond Ranch 0