Prep Baseball Report

Utah HS Team Preview: Dixie HS

Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

Utah HS Team Preview: Dixie Flyers

"Flyer Field" Home of the Dixie Flyers 

Opening Day is around the corner, try outs have been scheduled starting Feb 27th, and rosters are soon to be set. The Utah High School Activities Association has announced that opening day of the 2022 season will commence on Monday March 6th. Jeff Scholzen (Utah Scouting Director) begins the 2023 season coverage with our annual preseason team previews, where we will take notes from coaches, and highlight returning players, newcomers, and some sleepers. Over the next couple weeks and leading up to opening day, we will be highlighting some of the top programs in the state in our team previews. 

PBR Utah will also be publishing its state “Power 25” rankings that will be updated every Monday once the season begins. Throughout the season, PBR Utah will be pumping out coverage, highlighting individual players, games, rankings, scouting reports and naming players/pitchers of the week, every Tuesday as well. PBR Utah looks forward to getting out there this spring to see some great baseball. 

Dixie Baseball History 

One of the richest histories of Utah HS Baseball, along with the many rich traditions of Northern Utah baseball. But as far as Southern Utah Baseball, Snow Canyon has the richest tradition of the past 20 years with 4-5 state titles in the that span, but the Dixie Flyers have 2 titles in the past 5 years, along with the longest and richest tradition of any Southern Utah baseball team of the past 45 years!

The state powerhouse coincidentally started in the Don Lay coached days of the mid-70’s, when a young fireballing LHP by the name of Bruce Hurst came along! As many baseball fans of my age (54) can remember, Hurst caught national attention in 1976, when MLB scouts would track his every move. (I was 7 years old, when I would get out of school, to go trail my uncle, who was an All-State SS at Hurricane HS, and I was able to witness the throng of scouts attending Hurst’s games in that era). Hurst would go on to be selected 22nd overall in the 1st Rd of the MLB Draft, by the Boston Red Sox  

Hurst would go on to win 145 games as a star LHP that tag teamed with the great Roger Clemens in the 1980’s, to form a duo that was dubbed “Clemens and Hurst and fear the worst!” Hurst would go on to star in the 1986 World Series and was inadvertently named the World Series MVP, before the big comeback late in the game of Game 6, when Red Sox 1B had a ball go through his legs and the New York Mets would pull off one of the wildest comebacks in series history. 

Hurst became a local legend, as his name would be honored as the name of Utah Tech’s baseball stadium in 1994 as “Bruce Hurst Field.”

Many Dixie players have gone onto college baseball success during my lifetime and a handful drafted in the MLB draft. Current Asst Coach, Chunner Nyberg, would go onto to pitch at BYU, but not before being drafted out of HS in the 49th Rd by yours truly with the Los Angeles Angels. Chunner is the only Utah HS pitcher to start the state championship game all four years of his HS career, winning 2 of them!

The current team is stacked with young sophomore and junior class college talent, along with a senior ace on the mound! With that said, we present the 2023 Utah HS Team Preview of the Dixie Flyers…Enjoy!

Dixie by the numbers

Head Coach: Danny Ipson 

Classification: 4A

Region: 9

2022 Win-Loss: 23-6

2021 Win-Loss: 17-13

State Playoff appearances in last 10 years: 9

State Championship appearances last 10 years: 4

State Championships last 10 years: 2

Key Returners with Class/Position

Boston Vest SS / Dixie, UT / 2024


The son of a former D1 player (Who played for me in college) and his brother Cooper plays at BYU, so the bloodlines are aplenty! Boston played very well defensively at SS and 3B during the Future Games and made some nice plays, while starting a couple DP’s and some nice tags on runners thrown out at 3B. Boston is a baseball player and was a 4A 1st ™ All-Region/2nd ™ All-State award winner in ‘22 and carried that success into Atlanta. With some hard hit balls on a line, and keeping innings extended with base hits to keep the line moving, Boston is a fundamentally sound player. From a narrow upright setup to hit, he strides forward and pulls his hands back into the stretch/load position, to get separation and takes his hands direct to the plane of the ball and keeps his plane of attack on a flatter plane with the bat, to stay in the zone with the bat head and give himself enough room for error, to spray barreled balls to all fields. Able to cut down his swing and stay back to take what is given and guide the baseball the other way, which you don’t see often in players at 16 yrs old. Boston May not stay at SS at the next level, however I would keep him there as long as possible to keep him at that athletic spot on the diamond, which creates the instincts and baseball IQ to slide over to 2B or 3B and the power is there to be an offensive 2B at the best level and it’s not out of the question, to see his power pot to stick at 3B as well. But colleges should take notice of his baseball IQ, high rate of barrel efficiency and fundamentally sound glove, to provide a winning player at the next level!




Ridge Erickson C / Dixie, UT / 2024


 Committed: Brigham Young U

(Shooter Hunt - PBR Future Games Top 25 Position Player Prospects)

Ridge Erickson (UT) Erickson's ability to receive at a high level is matched only by the catch-and-throw capability, and he turned in workout pop-times at a 1.92-1.97 clip. Quick on the transfer with a strong, 80mph arm, the defend-tool is advanced, and he looked the part of a leader on the diamond, even in a quick look. Compact and athletic at 5-foot-11, 185-poundswith some natural strength throughout, the right-handed hitter showcased a simple stroke that promises more power on the way with an easy gap-to-gap approach presently. With so many programs desperate to find elite defenders behind the plate, Erickson stands out as one to follow, and with a strong right-handed stroke, there is also potential that he may develop into a run-producer at the next level.



This has been the one player that has climbed the board the fastest since the start of the summer. A glove over bat right now, but the bat is not that far off. The defense is just that good! A lean athletic Buster Posey type build and look right now at the same age! Ridge caught really well at the Future Games, as well as all summer. The setup behind the plate is really good w/a balanced athletic base, moves well side to side and can shift his hips to the corners, to stick pitches. Works underneath the ball and shows a low target, while dropping to block abv avg. He can pick balls to the backhand side, as well as glove and scoop balls on the short hop that others would block. Smothers balls in front and prevents base runners from moving up. Is adept at back picks to both corners and has picked a large number of runners off this summer. With a twitchy lower ½ and fast feet, Erickson gets off throws to 2B in times of 1.87-1.96 at the Top Prospect Games and 1.92-1.97 at the Future Games. The bat shows power potential and has a conventional semi crouched stance, with the bat held at a 45-degree angle with rhythm in loading the bat and driving his hands to and through the baseball with a short to/long through swing pattern. There is some slight uphill path to project lift and carry into an extended one hand follow through. Is gaining a following with a couple D1 offers on the table and others to come. This kid is the best catch/throw kid in the state and should develop into a premium next level defender as he has two years of HS remaining! 

-- Jeff Scholzen (Utah Scouting Director)




Cayson Bell RHP / Dixie, UT / 2023


 Committed: Glendale CC (AZ)

Cayson really jumped on the scene this past spring as he led the state with a perfect 9-0 record and coupled with his sophomore season of 3-0, Bell is undefeated at 12-0, spanning the last two years. Lean, with and more skinny throughout, the frame is slight and does need to put added weight and strength, to hold up for more than a 2-3 month HS season. The base delivery and arm action and arm speed is in place, to make quick strides in velocity. Pitches out of the stretch only and features a unique setup in his hold position. He sets his front leg in a closed position and then leans back and lifts into a flexible high kick to delivery. The momentum down the slope and stride length, lengthen out to use the slope to power the ball down on the zone. In the spring when at full strength, the arm speed is whippy and has a loose wrist to finish pitches, yet needs to use his wrist and fingers more to back spin the ball and really rip through the seems to get the baseball to take off through the zone. The FB sat comfortably at 84-88 w/run and sink w/kill spin. Needs to spin the ball tighter to be able to turn the ball over to a 4 seamer to utilize the top portion of the zone, to all the ball to keep its plane for swing and misses. The CB 72-76 takes on true TQ shape w/loose depth in the zone. The CH 75-79 has kill spin action with run, sink and depth. Currently his best secondary pitch and he maintains FB arm speed and the pitch has deception and gets swings and misses. Has an idea on the mound and competes and has know-how. 

-- Jeff Scholzen (Utah Scouting Director)




Logan Leavitt 3B / Dixie, UT / 2024


The brother of former Utah Tech U, OF-Jagun Leavitt, Logan showed well on workout day, as he took a crisp, clean INF w/plenty of arm and made a really smooth, EZ play in front, on a hot shot right at him at 3B in game play and finished the play w/a strong throw to 1B. Shows smooth actions at 3B and has educated feet and gets into proper throwing position w/his front shoulder closed and is very accurate with his throws. At the plate, Logan shows more hard LD contact vs power and through the gap type now, but the swing is controlled and show’s rhythm and timing to square balls up consistently. Hitting .406 as a sophomore at the DH spot, with a senior at 3B, Logan will man the hot corner over the next two years for the Flyers, and the power should come as he learns to lift the ball and get stronger with maturity. Look for bigger things to come as we move forward, but the foundation to hit and field is currently in place to build from. 

-- Jeff Scholzen (Utah Scouting Director)


Key players lost to graduation 

  • Malcolm Bartholomew - LHP (College of Southern Idaho)

  • GJ Erickson - 3B (USU-Eastern)

  • Shea Anderson - 2B (Salt Lake CC)

  • Dane Thorpe - C (Salt Lake CC)

Who is your X Factor to your success

Boston Vest - Unparalleled work ethic and commitment

List the names of returning players who were named All-Region / All-State 

SS-Boston Vest - Jr (2022 PBR Future Games) 2nd Team 4A All-State

C-Ridge Erickson - Jr (2022 PBR Future Games) 2nd Team All-State

RHP-Cayson Bell - Sr (2022 PBr West Coast Games) 2nd Team All-State

Player lost to graduation and College Baseball

  •  Malcolm Bartholomew - LHP (College of Southern Idaho)

  • GJ Erickson - 3B (USU-Eastern)

  • Shea Anderson - 2B (Salt Lake CC)

  • Dane Thorpe - C (Salt Lake CC)

Coaches Summary and Outlook

Very junior heavy team this year. Success will be dependent on the advancement of a couple key contributors. Those returning starters will need to continue to improve and learn to dominate their positions.

Danny Ipson (Head Coach)



Preseason All-State (Invite-Only) UT 03/04 Hurricane High School
Northern Utah Rising Stars ID UT 04/22 American Fork High School - American Fork, UT
Southern Utah Rising Stars ID UT 05/06 Hurricane High School




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.