High school baseball: Bingham, Spanish Fork, Snow Canyon and Emery top Deseret News preseason poll
Pine View won just seven games last season, but expects to be much-improved behind the play of sophomore Dakota Donovan, junior Hunter Hansen, and seniors Dylan Draper and Justice Santiago.
"We are still a young team, but will be very competitive this season," Dixie coach Mike Gargano said. "Time will tell our success. The team has grown immensely over the summer and fall seasons."
Park City, last year's Region 10 champ that won 18 games, returns a strong hitting lineup led by versatile standout Chandler Anderson, who hit .480 with 12 doubles and 15 stolen bases last season; catcher Chandler Barkdull, who batted .425 with eight doubles and 16 steals; and shortstop/catcher Blake Morin, who hit .350 last year.
Stansbury, last year's Region 11 champ that went 17-7 overall, returns senior pitcher Trent Griffin, senior shortstop Nick Mackay and senior catcher Alex Mackay for coach Ray Clinton's club, which will be strong defensively.
And then there's Canyon View, which has two returning first-team all-state players in junior pitcher Zach Brinkerhoff, who went 8-4 with a 2.50 ERA, and junior infielder Keaton Kringlon, who hit .442 with 23 runs scored, 11 doubles and three triples.
Emery, which went 19-6 and pounded past Parowan 15-9 in last year's 2A state title game, is led by junior shortstop Ridge Nielson, who hit .430 and earned first-team all-state honors; junior pitcher/third baseman Dillon Wilstead, another first-team all-state selection who piled up a perfect 8-0 record on the mound; and senior pitcher/first baseman Carson Healy, a second-team all-state performer for coach Steve Gordon.
Parowan, which also won 19 games for coach Brett Harrison last year, is led by senior first baseman Caleb Murphy, who hit .451 with 13 extra-base hits on his way to being named first-team all-state; senior catcher/pitcher Jake Topham, who hit .378 with nine extra-base hits and also won seven games on the mound; Tristan Adams and Kirk Harrison, who received all-state honorable mention. Beaver, which is ranked No. 3 in 2A after taking the Region 13 title and piling up a superb 20-2 mark last year, returns four starters off that ballclub, including pitcher Tilston Bradson, who went 8-0 and earned second-team all-state honors; catcher Jesse McMullin, who batted .380 as a junior and was also named second-team all-state; and left fielder Colby Limb, who batted .370 last season as a junior for coach Curt Heslington.
Fourth-ranked Grand, coming off a 17-7 season in 2013, features senior pitcher/outfieler Koi Cook, a first-team all-state selection who batted .455 with a .706 on-base percentage and four homers and nine doubles, while also posting a 3.88 ERA on the mound; and Adam Jenkinson, who garnered all-state honorable mention last year. And No. 5 Manti, which claimed the Region 16 crown and went 18-4 overall last year, will be counting on senior catcher Seth Jenkins, who earned second-team all-state honors, to lead the way again this season.