Race over as Azusa Pacific sweeps Dixie State, claims PWC title

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

AZUSA, Calif. – After taking over the top of the PacWest Conference with an opening victory against Azusa Pacific, the Dixie State baseball team relinquished it, then lost any chance to regain it with back-to-back losses in Tuesday’s doubleheader at the Cougar Baseball Complex at APU.

The two teams still have one game remaining, but the Cougars took a 1 ½ game lead with the two wins. Dixie State will have to settle for second place.

Azusa Pacific’s last win is historic. For the last six years, the PacWest championship has been split between Cal Baptist and Dixie State, with the other team finishing second. Dixie State and Cal Baptist will finish second and third this year.

APU 2, DSU 0

The first game was a pitching battle as both pitchers were stingy in allowing hits. Mason Hilty (9-3) went the distance for Dixie State, allowing only eight hits and striking out six. However, two of those hits were solo home runs by Pablo O’Connor. O’Connor got them in his first two at-bats in the bottom of the first and third innings.

Azusa starter Billy Oxford (10-1) got the win from the mound, limiting the potent Blazer offense to only five hits, striking out nine.

APU 4, DSU 1

In the nightcap, the Cougars broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning. All of the runs came after two outs. Again it was O’Connor who started the damage, hitting an RBI single. That was followed up with a two-RBI single from Adrian Tovalin.

Dixie State’s Bryce Feist (29), file photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Blazers’ Bryce Feist helped DSU avoid the shutout with a solo shot to left field in the sixth. Azusa matched with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning.

Matt Mosca (6-2) went the distance for Dixie State and took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits and striking out five. Tyler Mildenberg is the only Blazer to safely hit multiple times.

The Cougars’ Dillon Miyashiro (7-2) got the win, giving up six hits and striking out six.

“We pitched about as good as we have all year,” said Dixie State head coach Chris Pfatenhauer. “We played good defense. We just could not get the bats going. Credit their pitching staff. They pitched outstanding today.”

With one game remaining, APU moves to 27-8 in the PacWest and 40-9 overall. Dixie State falls to 25-9-1 in the PacWest and 36-12-1 overall. The Blazers will play their last game Wednesday at APU at noon Pacific Time.

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

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