"It's one of the best feelings ever. It's one of the best moments I'll experience in my high school career," Logan Lefemina said on Friday at Gates Field on the campus of Kearns High. "I'm just glad I can share this moment with all of my teammates. That's one step closer to the championship."
Pine View (20-6), which is now one win away from defending its crown as the only remaining team left in the winners' bracket, will face the winner of Canyon View vs. Dixie/Cedar at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
"That was a stressful game, that's for sure," Wall said. "Not a typical Pine View game. We usually throw strikes, don't make errors, and we didn't either one of those. … I think [Dakota] Donovan said it the best. He said, 'We need to relax. We still have the lead and we're playing as bad as we've ever played.' That pretty much says it all."
Tyler Hardin's two-run RBI single with the bases loaded in the top half of the first inning proved Canyon View (19-7) wasn't the least bit intimidated by the defending champs.
The Panthers responded with a five-run inning fueled by two doubles, a single and a triple.
After Canyon View had two more runs in the second, Pine View's Tybo Johnston, who hit a two-run double in the first, capped a two-out rally with an RBI single in the third to re-extend the Panthers' advantage to multiple runs, 6-4.
Canyon View recaptured the lead in the following inning when Jackson Vasi hit a grand slam with two outs to push the Falcons in front, 8-6. Pine View's Jagun Leavitt cranked a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to trim the deficit to one run, 8-7, before the Panthers knotted the score at 8 apiece on a passed ball in the sixth inning.
"We were saying before that this was probably the state championship," Lefemina said. "They wanted to beat us as much as anybody. This is everything we expected from Canyon View. Hats off to them."
Class 3A championship
P Pine View vs. TBD at Valley Complex
• Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
• Pine View 9, Canyon View 8
• Cedar City 9, Juab 5
• Dixie 10, Carbon 6
• Cedar City 15, Richfield 8
• Dixie vs. Cedar City, late