WALNUT, Calif. – Dixie State baseball only gave up two runs in the second inning against Cal Baptist in the opening round of the West Regional, but it was enough for the Lancers as starter Adam Hofacket scattered five hits over nine innings to pull out the 2-1 victory in the Western sub-regional Thursday afternoon.
Many expected an offensive shootout in the region’s opening game as both teams averaged 14 runs between them in their season series. The CBU offense also only mustered five hits, but stringed three of them together in the second inning.
Luke Navigato started the inning with a walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nathan Antoun singled down the left field line to put runners on the corners. John Taurinsky singled through the right side to score Navigato and put runners on the corners again. Jake Gallaway laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Antoun. Clayton got out of the inning by forcing a ground out from Pac West Player of the Year Antonio Chavarria.
Dixie never seriously threatened until the sixth inning as Hofacket retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced. In the sixth, the Red Storm stranded two after a single by Zach Watts and a hit by pitch from Drew McLaughlin.
Dixie threatened again in the seventh. Kevin Kline opened the inning with a double down the left field line. Sam Hall drew a walk. Trey Kamachi beat the throw on an infield hit to the shortstop, loading the bases. Yuto Kata hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Kline. But Gust hit a line shot to the first baseman and Watts struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.
Hofacket made quick work of the last two innings, facing only six more batters. In the last inning, he K’d all three batters to end the game.
The Red Storm will play the winner of Cal Poly and Point Loma to stave off elimination. Game time is 3 p.m. Pacific time.
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