Dixie State University’s baseball team almost came out with a win Sunday but dropped to 0-3 in its season-opening series in California over the weekend.
The team lost 3-1 in a close game Friday and then took another loss Saturday with a devastating 12-0 score. It seemed by the third game, the Storm looked poised to win their first game. The score was 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth and went into extra innings. The Storm lost by one run in the bottom of the 10th inning and left Scolinos Field with the score of 6-5 and a 0-3 record.
The team was apprehensive about the fact Cal Poly Pomona swept Point Loma Nazarene, which is in Dixie’s conference, and in the end, the team’s doubts out-weighed its confidence.
“We are continuing on trying to get better offensively,” head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. “We are trying to find whether it’s the right line up … We are just hoping the guys break out offensively [for the preseason games].”
The team scheduled stronger teams to start the season so it can get improve faster.
“[That] opening series was huge for us,” said second baseman Yuto Kata, a junior communication major from Chiba, Japan said. “And [that] opening weekend will be a huge deal later on in regionals.”
He said when it comes down to the region rankings, the officials take that series into consideration even though it was the first series of the season.
The Storm are now looking forward to their next preseason games against Colorado Mesa University. CMU went as high as No. 2 in the nation last year. CMU sits at No. 10 in the preseason polls this year. Pfatenhauer said Colorado Mesa is an offensive team, and it recruits that way.
The Storm are fully prepared in defense and pitching, but their Achilles’ heel is their offense. Pfatenhauer said he is focusing on offense. With Colorado Mesa’s offense being its strong point, which is one of Dixie’s weaknesses, the Storm will have to perform their best this weekend.
Colorado Mesa will be coming into these games fresh, which will be an advantage for Dixie. The Mavericks’ first series against University of Nebraska-Kearney was canceled due to poor weather.
“The guys [will] be getting them right out of the shoot,” Pfatenhauer said.
Kata said all the team really needs to do this series is play solid defense. He said if the team can put up a few runs, Dixie should be hard to beat.
The Storm play Colorado Mesa in a four-game series Feb. 14-16 at Suplizio Field.