WALNUT, Calif. – The Dixie State baseball team staved off elimination in the NCAA West Region tournament by beating No. 1 seed Cal Poly Pomona 2-1 Friday afternoon.
Freshman pitcher and Desert Hills alum Dylan File threw a two-hitter, stifling a Broncos team that was coming off a 12-run performance the day before.
The Storm scored two runs on a two-out rally in the sixth inning. Sam Hall drew a walk to get the first base runner on. Trey Kamachi reached on a fielding error and advanced to second, sending Hall to third. Yuto Kata then singled to the shortstop. A throwing error sent him to second and scored Hall and Kamachi.
“I knew I had to deliver,” said Kata. “There were two outs. It was getting late in the game. And behind me in the batting order was our freshman catcher. I did not want to walk.”
“They threw me two sliders to begin,” Kata continued. “I knew the next pitch was going to be outside. Lucky for me it was a fastball.”
Bronco shortstop Ryan Webberley fielded the ball deep in the hole and made the fatal decision to go after Kata and prevent the run. The throw, which would not have been in time anyway, went wide, allowing the second run to score.
The Broncos would finally get on the board in the top of the seventh. Kyle Garlick started out the inning with a single to short. Nick Cooksey then reached on a fielding error, advancing Garlick to second. Michael Zidek then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Munoz drew a walk to load the bases. Mike Philp then hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Cooksey. Dixie head coach Chris Pfatenhauer brought in Jeremy Alderman and gave File a well-deserved rest. Alderman got Webberley to fly out to left field to end the inning.
CP-P would threaten again in the top of the ninth. All-conference closer Evan Parker walked his first two batters, putting the tying run in scoring position. Zidek could not duplicate his earlier bunt and popped up his attempt to Kata. Matt Munoz flied out to right field. Parker then struck out Philp swinging to gain the save.
File got the victory, moving to 6-1. The run scored was unearned and he struck out five Broncos. He retired 20 of the 24 batters he faced, including 15 of the first 16.
“I was in a zone, no question about it,” said File, who was selected as the PacWest Conference freshman of the year. “I was nervous coming in, but good nerves. This team was my only loss and they rocked me earlier in the year in my first collegiate start. Yesterday, they scored 12 against Point Loma. But I have really improved my game this year thanks to good coaching. And as batter after batter went down, the game seemed to get easier.”
Parker recorded the save for his 13th of the year.
Cody Ponce fell to 5-3 for the Broncos. Ponce pitched a complete game, struck out six and gave up five walks. The two runs scored by Dixie were also unearned.
Dixie improves to 32-18 with the victory. The Broncos fall to 40-15. The Red Storm will play against UC-San Diego Saturday afternoon at 3 in an elimination game for both teams.
Stats: DSU 2, CPP 1
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