OREM — Quality depth often plays a key role in the 3A state baseball tournament, and that was apparent during Dixie’s 19-1 demolition of Park City in the 3A semifinal round of the no-loss bracket.
The Flyers needed just four and a half innings to pound the Miners, who entered Friday’s game short on pitching depth, after making an impressive run by one of the two remaining unbeaten teams in the tournament.
It didn’t take long for Dixie to take advantage.
Four runs were put across the plate in the first inning off of three hits, with RBI hits recorded by Wyatt Woodland and Tyson Fisher.
It got worse for the Miners from there.
Six runs came across in the second and seven more in the third to break open a 17-0 lead. Highlighting the scoring was Fisher, who had a triple, a single and a home run in the two innings played. He finished going 4-4 from the plate for four RBIs, three runs and one hit short of hitting for the cycle.
“We came in knowing we needed to jump out on them early, but I wasn’t thinking it would be 19-1,” Fisher said. “But we were swinging the bat pretty well yesterday, too, so we knew we were going to come in here and put up some offense. All that mattered was how good our star(ting pitcher) was.”
Turns out that starting pitcher proved pretty good.
Cooper Vest took the mound for the Flyers and pitched four complete innings and gave up just one run and three hits, while striking out four. Vest took the mound relatively fresh as an example of the depth Dixie has with its pitching, relative to other tournament teams.
“I think that it’s something we looked at before the tournament — that we thought we had some depth,” said Dixie coach Danny Ipsom. “You know how it is with high school boys, though. It’s just a matter of them coming out and being able to throw strikes and stay in the moment. So far we’ve been able to do that.”
Topping off the scoring in the bottom of the fourth was Joshua Cazier, who struck a two-RBI double to push the lead to 19-1.
Other Dixie highlights included Kaleb Leavitt belting a home run over the left field fence and Chase Lundin, who had four RBIs in just one official at-bat, due to a bases-clearing double and a sacrifice fly. Altogether, the Dixie lineup put together 16 hits with everyone getting involved with the scoring.
“I think we’re very confident right now,” Fisher said, as his team advances to the championship round on Saturday, needing just one more win for the title. “We still have so many (pitchers) that can go, so yeah, we’re ready for tomorrow.”
First pitch for Dixie Saturday will be at noon at Brent Brown Ballpark in Orem.