Trailblazer baseball unable to fend off CSUN

Players encouraged one another after a successful defensive inning against California State University, Northridge Feb. 23. In the end, CSUN took the series-opening win at Bruce Hurst Field with a score of 14-5. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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The Utah Tech University baseball team fell short in an attempted comeback in game one of a three-game series against California State University, Northridge.

The Trailblazers lost to CSUN by nine runs with the final score of 14-5.

The Trailblazers were unable to find the scoreboard until the seventh inning of the game when Hank Dodson hit an RBI single to right field to make the score 1-8.

In the following inning, Utah Tech had four pinch hitters come into the game. The pinch hitters gave the team some much-needed life as they were able to score four runs in the eighth inning to make the score 10-5. 

 “We got some guys off the bench who are hungry and want some opportunities,” head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. 

The only home run for the Trailblazers in the game came in the eighth inning from a pinch hitter. The home run was hit by Garrett Cutting, a junior recreation and sports management major from Las Vegas.

Cutting said, “I knew I had to show up for my team in the late innings when we are down runs.”

In the ninth inning, the Trailblazers gave up four runs, and they were also unable to score any runs leading to the final score for the game 14-5.

Pfatenhauer said even though the team lost by nine runs, the game was right there in their grasp at many different moments throughout the game. However, in the end, he said the team had several costly errors and other small moments that did not go their way, and it impacted the outcome of the game. 

The starting pitcher for the game, Dylan Gardner, a junior sociology major from Boise, Idaho, said he thought he pitched a good game, but he thought a few pitches got away from him that ended up costing the team runs. In the end, he was given the loss for the game.

“We are getting into great moments to win games, but we just aren’t getting it done,” Pfatenhauer said.

The Trailblazers had 16 different players take an at-bat in the game against CSUN showing the depth on the roster. The starting lineup consists of nine hitters. Utah Tech almost had two starting lineups worth of players hit in the game.

Cutting said, “We are going to be dangerous with the depth that we have.”

Pfatenhauer said it is so hard to make starting lineups because there are so many players competing, working hard and getting after it day in and day out, but he likes the depth on the roster that the team has. 

The final game of the three-game series will start at 12:05 p.m. Feb. 25.