File, Hilty shine in sweep of Yellowjackets

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Dixie State University pitchers were striking out batters at a career rate over the weekend. 

Senior pitcher Mason Hilty and junior pitcher Dylan File each recorded career-high strikeouts against Montana State University Billings. The Trailblazers swept the three-game series in their final games before entering Pacific West Conference play.

“[For our pitching] to get hot, it gets us excited going into conference play,” head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. “We haven’t pitched as well as we should have to this point. Having them get going, as well as a great bullpen, gets us excited.”

DSU entered play Friday riding a three-game winning streak. File took to mound for the Trailblazers in his fourth start of the year. He was lights out as he struck out a career-high 11 Yellowjackets.

File walked just one batter and scattered three hits on his way to pitching a complete-game shutout. He picked up his second win of the season as DSU finished on top, 6-0.

“It helps to have a pitcher pitch like that,” said redshirt senior shortstop Tyler Baker, an integrated studies major from Las Vegas. “As long as we stick to our approach in everything that we do, it will end up good for us.”

Redshirt senior outfielder Trey Kamachi went 2-4 and drove in one run on a triple in the first inning. Redshirt junior first baseman Logan Porter recorded three RBIs, two of which came on a blast over the left field wall in the fourth inning. 

Kamachi would also record a hit in each of the final two games of the series as well. With that, he has hit safely in 13 straight games.

Game two of the series Saturday saw both teams hit a combined seven home runs. MSUB did most of its damage in the first three innings, jumping out to a 7-3 lead.

Redshirt senior Reece Lucero and redshirt senior second baseman Drew McLaughlin both homered in the fourth and cut the lead to just one. 

DSU put up four runs in the sixth inning behind homers from Lucero and Porter, giving the Trailblazers a 10-7 lead. 

DSU added some insurance runs and finished with the win, 12-8. Seven starters in DSU’s lineup had two hits in the game. The first four in the lineup combined to go 8-18 with six RBIs and seven runs to aid the Trailblazers in the come-from-behind win.

Hilty was the focus in the rubber match of the series Sunday. He stuck out a career high nine batters with only one walk. He also carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

“I was really happy for [Hilty],” Pfatenhauer said. “He takes pride in his craft and preparation and what he does.”

After recording the first two outs of the seventh inning, a ground ball up the middle found a hole and gave MSUB its first hit of the game. The hit would be the only one Hilty would allow as he pitched a complete-game shutout earning his third win of the season.

“I honestly didn’t know I hadn’t allowed a hit,” said Hilty, an early childhood education major from Richland, Washington. “I was just trying to stick to who I am, and the defense definitely helped out a lot.”

Baker went 2-3 with two RBIs and scored one run. Behind Hilty’s performance, the win was never in doubt as DSU cruised to the win, 5-0.

DSU now sits at 11-3 on the season and will begin PacWest Conference play next weekend. The Trailblazers will host Holy Names University Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. at Bruce Hurst Field.