ST. GEORGE – Dixie State fell victim to a pair of big California Baptist innings as the Storm dropped their series finale to the Lancers, 13-5, Saturday afternoon at Bruce Hurst Field. DSU (13-5 overall, 1-3 in the PacWest) lost 3 of 4 to its fellow PacWest co-favorites to open up league play.
CBU (13-5, 3-1) broke open a scoreless game with a four-run third inning, which started with a one-out solo home run from Ryan Williams off Storm starter Chance Abrath (L, 1-1). The Lancers then loaded the bases on a hit and a pair of walks, though Abrath looked as if he might escape the jam after inducing a shallow fly out for the second out of the stanza. However CBU cashed in the bases-loaded situation with consecutive run-scoring singles to chase Abrath and bolt out to a 4-0 lead.
Dixie State came back with a two-out rally in the fourth as the Storm themselves loaded the bases with a Samuel Hall base hit and walks issued to Jerome Hill II and pinch hitter Cam Gust. DSU catcher Reece Lucero then picked up an RBI after being hit by a pitch and Miles Bice drove home two more runs on a bloop single to center field to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Lancers answered with two more runs in the fifth, though DSU would get those runs back thanks to a Hall RBI-single in the fifth and solo home run to left field from DH Ryan Rodriguez in the seventh. It was Rodriguez’s first homer of the season, which again pulled the Storm to within a run at 6-5.
However that would be as close as Dixie State would get as CBU exploded for six runs in the eighth to extend its lead to 12-5. The Lancers pounded out four hits in the rally and took advantage of a crucial Storm fielding error as CBU sent 10 men to the plate in the frame to put the game and series away.
DSU was outhit 16-10 in the contest, with Tanner Morache, Drew McLaughlin, Rodriguez, Hall and Bice each collecting two hits to lead the Storm offensively.
After a week off, Dixie State will embark on an eight-game PacWest Bay Area road trip March 13-19. DSU will open the trip with a four-game series at Academy of Art March 13-15, followed by a four-game set at Holy Names March 17-19.
Stats: CBU 13, DSU 5
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