Dixie State baseball settles for split to open PacWest

File photo of Dixie State's Tyler Mildenberg (4), Dixie State University vs. Holy Names University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State opened up PacWest Conference play Saturday at Bruce Hurst Field, splitting a doubleheader with visiting Holy Names University. After winning game one 9-2, the Blazers had to do without PacWest Preseason Player of the Year Drew McLaughlin who was injured and dropped game two 12-9.

“We have been riddled with injuries this year,” said Dixie State head coach Chris Pfatenhauer. “We have not had centerfielder Jerome Hill all season. Our top hitter, Ryan Rodriguez, broke his foot last week and will be out 4-6 weeks, and now Drew will miss a few games with an oblique injury. But that is no excuse for our play in the second game. We are Dixie State. We have recruited enough talent to put a good team on the field.”

GAME ONE

Dixie State’s Dylan File (33), Dixie State University vs. Holy Names University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

After getting rocked at the beginning of the season, Dixie State pitcher Dylan File (3-0) has settled into his role as the No. 1 ace nicely. The Desert Hills alum threw for seven innings, striking out nine while giving up only one run on three hits.

“At the beginning of the year, I had a little hitch in my delivery,” said File. “Once I discovered what I was doing, I got it corrected and things have been going well for me since.”

The Blazers jumped out early, putting up eight runs in the first four innings. In the first, McLaughlin scored on a bunt sacrifice by Trey Kamachi. Tyler Mildenberg, who was 4 for 4 at the plate, later scored on a sacrifice fly from Logan Porter.

In the second inning, McLaughlin doubled in Jake Davison and then later scored on a Mildenberg single to right field.

The Hawks put up a run in the third. Davison capped off a three-run bottom of the inning with a two-run shot to left field. Mildenberg hit a solo shot in the fourth to put the Blazers up 8-1.

Both teams would score a run in the eighth before reliever Trevor Sanders closed out the game by retiring three of the four batters he faced in the ninth.

In addition to Mildenberg, McLaughlin, Davison and Bryce Feist all had multiple hits. The Blazers had 12 hits in 33 at bats.

GAME TWO

“Our pitching was not up to par in game two,” said Pfatenhauer. “And defensively, we performed badly in both games – two errors in each game when we have only had 11 all year coming into tonight.”

Dixie State’s Jake Davison (5), Dixie State University vs. Holy Names University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

In the nightcap, Dixie State had a 3-1 lead after three, but the middle innings proved a boon for the Hawks as they put up 10 runs in the 4th-7th innings.

Porter put the Blazers up 3-1 with a home run to left field in the bottom of the third. In the top of the fourth, a costly throwing error allowed the Hawks to retake the lead, 4-3. Another error in the fifth combined with 10 hits over the four-inning span gave HNU an 11-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.

In the seventh, Dixie State loaded the bases. Kamachi then drew a walk to score Reece Lucero. Porter got a double in the next at-bat to score Trey Reineke and Tyler Baker. Kamachi would later score on a fielder’s choice to pull the Blazers to within 11-8.

The Hawks put up a run in the top of the ninth. In the bottom of the inning, DSU again loaded the bases and again drew a walk to score a run with two outs. The game ended with Lucero flying out to left field.

Dixie State had five different pitchers that collectively gave up 12 runs (11 earned) on 15 hits. Starter Matt Mosca (3-1) took his first loss of the season.

Offensively, Porter and Kamachi both had multiple hits.

With the split, DSU moved to 12-4 overall and 1-1 in the PacWest. Holy Names is 4-11 overall and also 1-1. The two teams will continue their series Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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