Cedar’s only losses dating back to March 27 came against Pine View – one on April 21 and two in state tournament play. Conversely, Pine View’s only loss since March 18 came against Cedar to close out the teams’ region schedules.
After picking up three straight tournament wins, the Redmen fell to Pine View, 5-2, on May 15, but defeated region rival Snow Canyon, 7-4, in the one-loss bracket on May 16 to secure a rematch with the Panthers in the championship game.
Down by eight runs entering the fifth inning, Cedar rattled off nine straight runs to take a one-run lead late in the game.
The inning started with a leadoff walk and a defensive miscue by Pine View and Cedar’s bats took over. Rykker Tom doubled and Trey Esplin picked up a RBI single before Brecken Lewis tripled down the right field line to score another run.
“We fell behind early,” said Cedar coach Eric Fieldsted. “We had some miscues early both offensively and defensively that hurt us a little bit, but the kids battled and fought and never gave up. … The key was they didn’t try to do too much … they just decided to start taking what the pitching was giving them.”
Before Pine View could record an out in the inning, Dusty Hanna reached base, forcing the Panthers to make a pitching change. Back-to-back doubles at the bottom of the order by Bracken Yardley and Kyler Carrizosa kept the inning going and Josh Boyer scored from third on a wild pitch to give Cedar a one-run lead, placing the pressure squarely on the shoulders of the Pine View players.
“We just kept banging,” Fieldsted said. “We just kept having good plate appearances, good approaches at the plate – I think almost everyone of our hits in the inning was to the opposite field.”
Pine View eventually tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, regained the lead in the bottom half of the sixth inning and closed out the championship game with a 13-10 victory over the Redmen.
“Looking at it, I think it was the two teams that have been playing the best since March,” Fieldsted said. “They were a little bit better than us this weekend.”
Cedar ends the year with a 22-7 record, having won 13 of 16 games. The Redmen will lose seven seniors to graduation this year.
“They’ll all be missed,” Fieldsted said of his seniors. “Every single one of those kids puts in a lot of time and effort in the off-season and during the season to get themselves prepared for situations like we were in this weekend.”