ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State baseball team suffered its first loss of the season against Colorado Mesa Friday afternoon. With the two teams nationally ranked eighth (DSU) and ninth (CMU), it was no wonder that their first meeting would take 12 innings to decide the outcome. Unfortunately for Dixie State, the win went to the visitors, 10-8. But the Trailblazers won the second game of the doubleheader 5-1.
“Sometimes after losing a hard-fought game, the team has a letdown in the second game,” said Dixie State head coach Chris Pfatenhauer. “I was proud of our guys, coming out fired up and getting the win in the second game.”
Colorado Mesa opened the scoring with a home run over the right field wall in the top of the first. The score remained 1-0 through three-and-a-half. In the bottom of the fourth, Miles Bice homered to right field and scored Reece Lucero to give DSU a 2-1 lead.
The top of the next inning was trouble for the Trailblazers. CMU opened with a triple. After the next batter struck out, CMU put a second man aboard with a hit by pitch. A squeeze play scored the runner from third and put men at first and second. After a walk loaded the bases, Maverick catcher Kyle Serrano hit a grand slam to give CMU a 6-2 lead. Dixie State got out of the inning without any further damage, but Colorado Mesa put up another insurance run in the sixth on an RBI double.
In the bottom of the inning, Dixie State began to chip into the lead. Ryan Rodriguez had an RBI single in the sixth to score Logan Porter. In the next inning, Tyler Mildenberg squeezed home Trey Kamachi with a bunt down the third base line. Entering the bottom of the eighth, the deficit was still 7-4.
Bice opened up the inning with a single through the right side. Rodriguez followed him with a shot through the left side. Jake Davison entered the game as a pinch hitter and loaded the bases with a single to third base. After the hit, Trey Reineke pinch ran for Davison.
Kamachi then hit a deep fly to center field and sacrificed home Bice. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. After a foul out by the next batter, Drew McLaughlin hit a single to the shortstop to score Rodriguez. Mildenberg then singled through the right side to score Reineke and tie the game before CMU got out of the inning on a ground out.
Neither team could score in the ninth and the game went to extra innings. CMU put up a run in the 11th, but Dixie State was able to match it with an RBI double by Bice. In the 12th, the Trailblazers had two costly errors that allowed CMU to put up two runs. Dixie State would get runners aboard in the bottom of the inning, but was unable to get them across.
Tanner Howell (0-1) took the loss in relief. Jarrett Bott (1-0) got the win for the Mavericks.
“We were happy with the comeback,” said Pfatenhauer. “But we had several chances to get the go-ahead run and didn’t do it. And defensively, it was not a good game for us. Miles Bice had a great game at the plate.”
Bice went 4 for 4 from the plate with a home run and a double. McLaughlin, Mildenberg, Lucero, Rodriguez and Kamachi all had multiple hits for the game.
In the second game, Dixie State put up four runs in the third and then made them count by holding CMU to two runs the remainder of the way.
In the third with the bases loaded, Mildenberg singled to left field to score the first run. Logan Porter then doubled down the left field line to score two more. Lucero then sacrificed home Mildenberg to get the 4-0 lead.
CMU put up a run in the top of the fourth, but DSU matched it in the bottom half with a sacrifice fly by Tyler Baker. CMU would get one more run in the seventh inning on a fielding error. Walker Williams entered the game after the run and got the final batter to ground out to third base.
Starter Matt Mosca (2-0) got the win, pitching five innings and striking out two. Williams picked up the save. CMU starter Tyler Day (0-1) took the loss.
“Our bullpen played great in the second game,” said Pfatenhauer. “(Jose) Rosales-Rodarte came up big for us in relief and Mosca pitched five good innings for us.”
McLaughlin and Kamachi each had multiple hits and a stolen base.
With the split, Dixie State moves to 5-1. Colorado Mesa opened up their season at 1-1. The two teams will continue their series with one game on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m and a fourth game on Sunday beginning at noon.
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