An important Pacific West Conference matchup is in the offing for the Dixie State University baseball team.
DSU climbed to second place in the PacWest standings after taking three of four games from conference foe California Baptist University over the weekend.
Junior pitcher Dylan File earned his fourth win from the mound this season in the opening game of the series. He scattered four hits while only allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings pitched. File also recorded eight strikeouts against the Lancers.
“We pitched really well,” head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. “Our bullpen did a tremendous job to keep us in game.”
Redshirt senior outfielder Trey Kamachi struck first blood for the Trailblazers in the top of the second inning with a solo home run, his second of the season.
“Everything I’ve been able to do has to do with my routine,” said Kamachi, a human communication major from Kapolei, Hawaii. “I practice hard and get in the cages as much as I can.”
Redshirt junior first baseman Logan Porter went 3-4 in the win while redshirt senior shortstop Tyler Baker and redshirt sophomore infielder Bryce Feist each had two hits as well.
The second game was the most eventful game of the series. CBU jumped out to a commanding 12-3 lead heading into the top of the eighth inning. The Trailblazers proceeded to send 14 batters to the plate in the inning and scored nine runs to tie the game.
A wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk plated two runs for DSU, giving the Trailblazers the victory 14-12. Kamachi finished 4-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Senior outfielder Trey Reineke drove in three RBIs on his way to finishing 2-5.
“Since we’ve been hurt, I’ve been playing a little more than I normally would,” said Reineke, a business administration major from Aurora, Colorado. “It’s easier to get into a groove whenever you get more consistent at bats.”
Senior second baseman Drew McLaughlin led the offense for the Trailblazers in game three. He hit two doubles and recorded two RBIs. Eight of DSU’s nine starters recorded at least one hit in the game.
The Trailblazers used a four-run fourth inning to aid them in securing the win, 6-3.
“[CBU] is a good team, and we knew we had to play clean baseball,” Reineke said. “We committed a lot of errors the week before, and that was an emphasis this week in practice.”
DSU entered the final game of the series having won 15 of its last 17 games. The Trailblazers would fall in a heartbreaking loss, 10-9. Baker was the only Trailblazer to have multiple hits in the losing effort going 2-4 with an RBI.
DSU held a 9-4 advantage heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Lancers of CBU plated three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to secure the walk-off win.
“It’s hard to lose a game like that,” Pfatenhauer said. “It’s different if you are behind the whole game and lose rather than giving up a big lead at the end of the game.”
With the wins, however, DSU improves to 9-3 in the PacWest Conference. The Trailblazers trail only Point Loma Nazarene University, who owns an unblemished 8-0 record.
“They are always a good defensive team,” Pfatenhauer said. “We are going to have to play our best baseball and pitch well.”
The Trailblazers enter a crucial matchup with PLNU in a battle of the best of the PacWest. The Sea Lions come to St. George for a four-game series beginning Friday with a doubleheader. First pitch for game one is slated for 4 p.m. with game two immediately following inside Bruce Hurst Field.