Prep Baseball Report

Utah Power 25 Rankings: Week One

Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

With week one in the books, we now take a look at the top teams in the state. With the Preseason All-State event taking up much of my time with content, in helping market and promote the players, we fell behind in getting a preseason ranking together. That doesn't mean we don't have a very good idea as to who the top teams are. However, there was some volatility to some of the top teams, especially in the north and one in particular in the south. One of the bigger surprises, was the weekend Desert Hills went through. With one of the top pitchers in the state, as well as the region, it was a surprise, that outside of Payton Gubler, the Thunder struggled to get anything going. The Warriors were also without All-Region and All-State SS/2B-Cole DeCastro in the lineup, as he is nursing a foot injury that has lingered on for more than a month. Once he gets back, look for some stability behind Gubler up the middle. The number one team in the state, as well as the #25 ranked team in the country, American Fork received a scare, as they narrowly snuck by #17 Jordan by a score of 4-3. Reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, Fisher Ingersoll was held hitless, but that won't continue, my guess is, the Cavemen may just do what #5 Snow Canyon did after dropping their first game, and that was to put a whoopin' on their opponents after that. 

There is some parity this year, as last year there were 5 powerhouses that laid waste to the competition, but this year, the talent is evenly spread out. Outside of the juggernaut Cavemen, who have 5 D1 commits, and their rotation of 3 aces in Austin Laycock (Utah Valley U), Kaden Carpenter (Utah) and Dax Newman (CSI), another surprise as well, was Timpanogos going 2-2 on the weekend in St. George, as they have 3 committed D1 aces as well, but they were without the big bat and arm of All-Stater, Billy Bird, who has been on the shelf for two weeks with an undisclosed illness that has lingered and we are wishing Billy all our best for his speedy return.

There were also some surprises of a good note, as Crimson Cliffs, Orem, Pine View and Lehi ran the table in St. George at the various pilgrimage of annual tournaments that are a staple in the state. Another surprise is the upsurge in talent and competitiveness shown by the Hurricane Tigers, who a year ago were 3-23 and winless in region play, went 3-1 on the weekend, with wins over 5A Mountain View, 3A power Juab and the defending 3A State Champion Grantsville Cowboys! The Tigers were led by some really good defense, as cousins Grant Scholzen, SS (Jr) and Josh Wright, RF (Sr) powered the offense and defense, as Wright had a walk off single to beat Juab in the bottom of the 7th inning, after the Wasps decided to intentionally walk U of the Pacific commit, Scholzen with the winning run at 2B and one out. In the top of the 6th with a 4-3 lead, Juab's super frosh Austin Park hit a two hop smash to Scholzen's backhand and Scholzen laid out and snared the ball, bouncing up and making a strong throw to catch the speedy Park at 1B. The LH hitting Scholzen went 5-10 on the weekend, with 5 runs scored, 5 RBI, 2 2B and a triple for good measure. He also was robbed of 2 additional hits, as he hit a soaring fly ball, deep into the RCF gap vs Juab and the CF ran it down at the wall. In the Grantsville game, Scholzen hit a scary bullet right back at the pitcher and he saved himself, by throwing his glove up and making an unbelievable grab to end the inning with runners on base. In that same game, in the top of the 7th inning, Wright made a jumping catch, crashing into the RF wall, and 2 outs later, ended the game by laying out for a sure hit, that blooped down the RF line and shallow, to make a highlight reel grab. The Tigers have been buoyed by new Head Coach, Steve Pearson, who has brought a more aggressive and respected style of play to the Tigers as they are playing with confidence, and Pearson is pulling the right strings and has the players backs and they have his.

Now we take a look at the top 25 teams in the state. I'm sure next week after American Fork plays in the prestigious Scott Boras Classic in Phoenix, where all eyes will be on Ingersoll and Kaden Carpenter, as MLB scouts will be out in abundance to watch the Cavemen, and a second weekend of tournaments down south in St. George, there could be more volatility to these rankings. ENJOY!

Utah Power 25 Rankings

  1.  6A American Fork 1-0
  2.  5A Orem 4-0 
  3.  4A Crimson Cliffs 4-0
  4.  4A Pine View 5-0
  5.  4A Snow Canyon 3-1
  6.  4A Dixie 3-0
  7.  5A Lehi 5-0
  8.  5A Spanish Fork 3-1
  9.  5A Salem Hills 3-1
  10.  3A Juan Diego Catholic 2-0
  11.  5A Timpanogos 2-2
  12.  6A Pleasant Grove 0-1
  13.  5A Olympus 0-0
  14.  6A Lone Peak 0-0
  15.  6A Bingham 0-0
  16.  5A Skyline 1-0
  17.  5A Jordan 0-1
  18.  5A Cottonwood 0-0
  19.  4A Desert Hills 1-3
  20.  6A Mountain Ridge 0-0
  21.  5A Maple Mountain 2-1
  22.  3A Juab 2-2
  23.  6A Riverton 0-0
  24.  6A Skyridge 1-0
  25.  6A Corner Canyon 3-1
Others considered: 
4A Green Canyon 3-1 (beat 6A, 5A, 2A)
4A Hurricane 3-1 (beat a 5A, 3A, 3A State Champs)
Woods Cross 0-0
**Washington County schools go 19-5 vs Northern Utah schools on the weekend**