DSU falters to Sunbirds

Share This:

Dixie State University baseball did something for only the second time this season — lost two games in a row.

Having won 18 of their previous 22 games, the Trailblazers ran into Fresno Pacific University and surrendered three wins of a four-game series to the Sunbirds.

FPU jumped all over the Trailblazers in game one as the Sunbirds scored three runs in the first three innings before posting five runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Junior pitcher Dylan File suffered his first loss of the season from the mound. He pitched into the mammoth sixth inning for the Sunbirds but did not record an out.  File finished with five complete innings allowing eight runs on eight hits and three walks.

DSU managed just four runs in the game and could not overcome the five-run sixth inning and fell 8-4. Redshirt junior Logan Porter finished the game going 2-3.

“We just couldn’t cash in runs,” head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. “We hit a lot of balls hard, and they just didn’t fall. On the season, we are hitting about .360 with runners in scoring position. During this series, we only hit .222.”

Senior pitcher Mason Hilty was the star of game two for the Trailblazers. He pitched a complete game and allowed just one run while scattering three hits. He struck out nine on his way to helping DSU get the win, 5-1. Hilty picked up his seventh victory of the season.

“It takes a lot of preparation,” said Hilty, an exercise science major from Richland, Washington. “Getting ahead in the count with a first pitch strike was big. It gave me confidence to throw my offspeed pitches. It was nice to have multiple pitches that I could throw for strikes when I wanted.”

Redshirt senior outfielder Trey Kamachi led the Trailblazers offensively. He kept his 17-game hitting streak alive going 3-5 and drove in one RBI.

Kamachi’s hitting streak would end in game three as DSU lost a heartbreaker. Leading heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Trailblazers walked in the go-ahead run and could not recover as they lost, 4-3.

DSU as a team only managed five hits in the loss, its fewest hit total of the season. The three runs are the second fewest the Trailblazers have scored in a game this season as well.

“We were hitting balls hard but they were getting caught,” said Porter, a criminal justice major from Surprise, Arizona. “It’s just part of the game. It seemed like every ball we squared up they were able to make a play on.”

The struggles for the Trailblazers continued in the final game of the series. FPU scored six runs over the final four innings of play to win its third game of the series, 9-5.

Three Trailblazers had two hits including Kamachi and Porter who each went 2-4. Junior catcher Jake Davison went 2-5 and drove in one RBI in the loss.

Sophomore pitcher Preston Hannay suffered the loss from the mound ­­­­— his second of the season. He allowed five runs on seven hits in four complete innings.

“A little adversity can be good at this point in the year,” Porter said. “I don’t think losing those game was good because it hurt us in the standings, but it gave us a reason to be strive to be better. I wish it didn’t happen, but it’ll be good for us in the long run.”

Despite the losses, DSU still sits in second place in the Pacific West Conference behind Azusa Pacific University. The Trailblazers’ next three series will be against the three teams at the bottom of the standings in the conference before wrapping up the regular season against APU — a series that could determine the PacWest champ.

DSU will first set its sights on its final home series of the year. Academy of Art University comes to St. George for a four-game series. Game one is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. inside Bruce Hurst Field.