Prep Baseball Report

Utah Game of the Week: Crimson Cliffs @ Dixie

Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

2023 Scout Blog (Week 7)

#1 Crimson Cliffs @ #3 Dixie

(Crimson Cliffs) 

For the second time in three weeks, LHP-Jaiven Ross (Salt Lake CC) and RHP-Aaron Morris (CS-Monterey Bay) threw an 8 inning combined NO-HITTER! The Mustangs no hit the #2 ranked Snow Canyon Warriors two weeks ago in a epic 1-0 victory by scoring the lone run in the bottom of the six after Ross had gone 5 no-hit innings and Morris completed the game by no-hitting the Warriors in the 6th and shut them down in the top of 7th to preserve the win

This time it was #1 @ #3 and Ross went 5 no-hit innings again and Morris went into the 8th, and the Mustangs put up 2 runs in the top of the 8th and Morris shut the door in the bottom of the 8th. Morris was 88-90 T91. The duo have been needless to say unhittable throughout the season as Ross has pitched to a 3-0 record with a 0.94 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched, while giving up only 6 hits, 4 earned runs, while walking a bit high 19 and striking out 47! Morris has been equally dominant out of the pen with a couple of starts in the preseason, when more starters were needed in the early season St. George tournaments. Morris has pitched to a 4-0 record in 21.1 innings with only 7 hits, a sparkling 0.33 ERA with only ONE earned run, walking 7 and striking out 23! That’s 13 total hits in 51 innings for the left/right duo who are college bound in the fall. 

SS-Petey Soto, who is college bound to Utah Tech in the fall and a ‘21 PBR Future Games alum, provided the offense as he collected 3 of the Mustangs 5 hits with an RBI, that was the deciding factor from the offensive side of the game in the 8th and extra inning. Soto has been a driving factor from the plate in 2023. A year ago, the 4A 1st Team All-Stater struck out 22 times vs 21 base hits as he was a run scoring machine with 37 runs, but walked 23 times. This year Soto is hitting .469 and has 19 RBI and 11 extra base hits, but the difference is Soto has walked 12 times and only struck out 5 times!


RHP-Cayson Bell

The pitching of RH starter, Cayson Bell who is a Glendale CC (AZ) commit was 83-86 a year ago and into the fall when he committed, but has steadily seen his velocity increase exponentially since the turn of the calendar year. Bell was touching 90-91 with his FB for the first 3 ½ months of the year in scrimmages and early season play, but now has jumped to 92 in his last start vs Hurricane a week ago. In this epic pitchers dual vs Crimson, Bell went 7 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 9 batters. For the season Bell has run his current record to 5-0 and 17-0 over the last 3 years and currently stands at 35 innings pitched, while putting up an absurd 0.40 ERA with only 14 hits allowed with only two earned runs on 4 runs total, while walking 12 and striking out 53 batters! 

Bell has done this, as he sustained a partially collapsed lung last July 3rd, at a college team camp. He recovered quickly and he tried pitching thereafter in August at the PBR West Coast Games, and was 83-86 and didn’t pitch well. Subsequently he shut down for the rest of the summer after that and all fall, after losing weight and noticeable strength. He dedicated himself to recovering and hit the gym with a single minded focus to add some weight, but has totally transformed his physique and added 10-15 Lbs of muscle and now stands at 6-0 170. As the calendar year flipped and Bell started throwing pens and scrimmages, his velocity had taken off, as he added 4-5 miles an hour from his bottom range to top at 88-91. The turning point after touching 90-91 virtually every start this far and then 92 a week ago, was this recent epic start, where he was 88-93 T94 (3 times at 93 and once at 94) with his final pitch of the night at 90, throwing 104 pitches and 69 strikes for a 66 strike %! 

Scouts History of Region 10 (2021-2023)

It’s been bandied about that I favor and promote southern Utah baseball a bit too much, but one can only look at my coverage of American Fork and Pleasant Grove as my chosen teams to promote over the last 2 years with Fremont and Riverton covered just as much. I try to stay away from covering and talking about Region 10, as it can come across as being a homer. But as these teams were covered, they by all means deserved it and many of them played for me in the PBR Future Games and West Coast Games and many are D1 commits. Three American Fork and two Pleasant Grove players have played in the Future Games over the past two summers. But one can only look at who is providing the offense at the various D1 programs in the state and it’s littered with Region 10 players. This article is about the epic battle mentioned above, but the following gives context to the reason so many southern Utah players are performing right now at the highest levels of college baseball. 

Region 10 FB velocity vs being D1 hitter ready

From (2019) 2021-2023, the following Region 10 pitchers (14) touched anywhere from 88-97, making for nearly 50-60% of all region games, southern Utah hitters had to face big velocity and it readied them for D1 baseball. These velocities were their high school velocities and in all cases, either remained the same or took off even further in college.

2021 RHP-Traton Staheli, Pine View (BYU/Salt Lake CC) FB 90-96 and scouted by a dozen or more MLB scouts. Also turned down a huge offer to USC. 

2023 LHP-Beau Sampson, Crimson Cliffs (Salt Lake CC) Turned down a D1 school) FB 87-91 | 4A Playoff MVP. 

2023 RHP-Aaron Morris, Crimson Cliffs (CS-Monterey Bay) FB 88-91

2021 3B/RHP-Breiten Oaks, Dixie - FB 88-91 (On a Church Mission)

2023 RHP-Talan Kelly, Snow Canyon (Uncommitted) FB 86-89 with a high spin CB

2021 LHP-Carston Herman, Snow Canyon (Utah Tech) FB 86-88 in the Utah Tech rotation. 

2022 OF-RHP-Luke Anderson, Snow Canyon (BYU #2 hole hitter, hitting .374) FB 89-93 in HS

2022 3B/RHP-GJ Erickson, Dixie (USU-Eastern) FB 86-89

2022 RHP-Isaac Lyon, Snow Canyon (Grand Canyon U) FB 87-92 with a plus CH

2022 RHP-Payton Gubler, Desert Hills (BYU) FB 91-97 | PBR Super 60 ProCase

2023 RHP-Myles Topham, Canyon View (CSI) FB 87-90

2023 RHP/OF-Makaio Swensen (Uncommitted) PBR Future Games alum. FB 86-88

2023 RHP-Cayson Bell, Dixie (Has had 4-5 D1's calling over the past few days) FB 88-94

2019 RHP-Kayler Yates, Dixie (Utah/Utah Valley) FB 90-95 in HS | 2019 4A Player of the Year. Rehabbing from Tommy John and will return in 2024.

D1 Hitters having success (These are the current best in-state D1 hitters right now)

2021 OF/1B-Cooper Vest, Dixie (BYU) Set the UHSAA single game K out record vs Spanish Fork in 2020 with 20 in one game! 4A Player of the Year - Hitting .311 with 16 extra base hits and 28 RBI's in 28 games.

2019 3B-Austin Deming, Snow Canyon (BYU) 1st Team All-WCC in 2022. Hitting .436 with 16 2B's, 14 HR and 50 RBI in 28 games. Gatorade Player of the Year and "Mr. Baseball" in HS. 2023 leading contender for WCC Player of the Year.

2022 OF/2B-Luke Anderson, Snow Canyon (BYU) hitting .374 with 16 extra base hits and 5 HR's. 1st BYU player to hit 3 HR in a game in 25 years. 2022 "Mr. Baseball", Gatorade Player of the Year and PBR Utah Player of the Year. Doing this as a freshman. in 2022 he hit .562 with 6 HR 47 RBI, 17 2B, 51 R's and 54 base hits. The single biggest HS season this century in Utah. Also had 36 BB to only 9 K's! His OB% was .676 with a SLG% of 1.010 and a OPS of 1.686. Was also named a Rawlings HS All-American!

2021 2B-Landon Frei, Snow Canyon (Utah) hit .330 as a freshman with 69 hits, 13 extra base hits and was HM All-PAC 12 and All-Freshman Team.

2022 C/UTL-Luke Iverson, Pine View (Utah Valley) has been named WAC Player of the Week this year as a freshman with a .347 avg, and leads the WAC with 5 3B's. Is one of the reasons Utah Valley is the in-state darlings right now as the only team to win 20 games at the D1 level currently, while being on track to win 30. 

2021 C-Mason Strong, Snow Canyon (BYU/Oklahoma) was the 2021 4A Player of the Year and a Rawlings HS All-American. Was among 3 first ever MLB Draft Combine players from Utah with RHP-Cam Day from Layton and Gunnison 100 mph arm RHP-Janzen Keisel (BYU/Oklahoma State), Desert Hills/BYU pitcher Payton Gubler, represented the state at the Draft Combine a year ago.

So one can see where the FB velocity in the state has resided over the past 3 years, and in 2019 -RHP-Drew Thorpe from Desert Hills was in the area, and subsequently went to Cal Poly and was a consensus All-American and Big West Player of the Year, along with playing for the Collegiate National Team. Was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually  to the best player in college baseball Thorpe went on to be drafted in the 2nd Rd in the 2022 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees!

Also another shout out to 2018 - RHP-Breck Eichelberger from Snow Canyon, a 2018 grad and now at Abilene Christian, Eichelberger in HS, was 89-94 and now sits 93-96, and touched 100 mph this season and has a decent chance of being selected in the upcoming MLB Draft along with BYU’s Deming.


2023 PBR CA-NV-AZ-UT ProCase (Invite Only) UT 06/04 University of Southern California - Dedeaux Field
2023 PBR Scout Day: NorCal Valley Utah UT 06/12 Snow Canyon HS
2023 PBR Scout Day: CBA Summit UT 06/17 Snow Canyon HS
2023 PBR Scout Day: Rawlings Tigers UT 06/29 Skyline High School
Top Prospect Games (Invite-Only) UT 07/11 Salt Lake Community College
PBR Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/25 LakePoint
2023 PBR Future Games (Utah Invite) NATIONAL 07/26 LakePoint Sports - Cartersville, GA





Scholzen was brought on as the Utah Scouting Director for Prep Baseball Report after serving 9 years as the Four Corners Scouting Supervisor with the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-2020). Prior to his run with the Brewers, Scholzen worked for the Los Angeles Angels for 11 years (1999-2010), serving in a similar capacity as the Four Corners Scouting Supervisor. In all, Scholzen served as a full-time scout for 20 years. Scholzen also received a 2002 World Series ring for his contributions as a scout. 

With the Angels, Scholzen created an Angels Scout Team, in which he coached the likes of current and former major league players: Kris Bryant, Kevin Gausman, Greg Bird, Tyler Wagner, Aaron Blair, Joey Rickard, Donn Roach, Johnny Field, Taylor Cole and Paul Sewald to name a few. During his run with the the Angels, Scholzen served as the hitting coach for the Angels rookie ball affiliate with the Pioneer League Orem Owlz, helping guide the Owlz to the 2005 and 2007 Pioneer League titles.

Prior to becoming a professional scout, Scholzen served as the head coach at Southern Utah University between 1993-1997. At the time, Scholzen was the youngest Division I head coach when he was first hired at 24 years old. The Southern Utah baseball program was dropped after the 2012 season. While coaching at Southern Utah, Scholzen served as the hitting coach for the Alaska Goldpanners in 1995, as they won the Alaska League Championship. 

A native of Utah, Scholzen played at Hurricane HS and was twice named 1st team All-State and an AAU HM All-American, before moving on to Utah Valley CC and Eastern Oregon University, earning All-Conference honors on three separate occasions. Scholzen played in the Angels’ organization from 1991-1992.