DSU pitcher ‘eats’ up competition

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“Eat or get eaten,” Dixie State University’s junior pitcher wrote in the sand on the pitching rubber as he walked up to the mound Saturday night to throw the first pitch of what would be his record-tying save for DSU.

During the second Saturday game, Evan Parker, an integrated studies major from Ogden, earned his 10th save of the season to tie DSU’s single-season record for saves in only 25 games.

The Storm swept Hawaii Pacific University in a four-game series last weekend over a span of two days.

Parker is on the verge of taking the title from Josh Mooney, who achieved the record the previous year. Parker said the words he writes on the rubber are his inspiration to succeed. As for breaking records, Parker couldn’t be more excited.

“I am very happy, but I don’t get that opportunity unless my teammates give it to me — so that’s who gets the credit,” Parker said.

Parker said he works as hard as he possibly can in order to achieve those record-breaking goals. He said he is very picky in a way with his pitching, and he likes it when he succeeds because it drives him to be better.

The Storm defeated the Sea Warriors 6-3 in the final game. Sophomore second baseman Drew McLaughlin had his first home run of the season. He also led the team with two runs scored.

The intensity picked up in the third game as the Sea Warriors and the Storm were tied at seven well into the ninth inning. The Storm were up to bat and had men on first and third. Junior third baseman Yuto Kata hit a single to bring junior center fielder Donald Glover home to win the game 8-7.

Kata’s hit brought the Storm out of their dugout with cheers as they tackled him to the ground for his game-saving hit.

“I love those situations; that’s what I play baseball for,” said Kata, a junior communication major from Chiba, Japan. “I play for that thrill — that moment — that’s what I live for, and I got it.”

The Storm swept both games Friday. The team’s pitchers almost pulled off a no-hitter in game one until the Sea Warriors hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning. That homer not only brought HPU’s fans to their feet, but also players in the dugout as both runners rounded third to home plate. HPU then scored another run the same inning. Dixie responded to that hit and shut down the Sea Warriors in the last two innings, defeating them 6-3.

Dixie State lost its momentum during the second game, where it remained with a two-point deficit until the bottom of the sixth inning. That’s when the Storm got over their slump and brought in four runs in the last three innings. They went two-for-two on Friday as they beat HPU 4-2 the second game.  

The Storm are currently on a nine-game winning streak, sweeping their last two series. They look to keep the streak alive as they face University of Hawaii-Hilo at home Saturday and Sunday. The first pitch will be thrown at 4 p.m. at Bruce Hurst Field.