Dixie State closes regular season with win, awaits NCAA bid

File photo of Dixie State's Drew McLaughlin (2), Dixie State University vs. Fresno Pacific University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 2, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

AZUSA, Calif. – The Dixie State baseball team won its final game of the season against PacWest Champion Azusa Pacific. After the Cougars clinched the conference title Tuesday, they saw Dixie State come back from a 3-1 deficit in the late innings to secure Wednesday’s victory.

The Trailblazers opened the scoring in the first inning when Logan Porter doubled in Drew McLaughlin. APU regained the lead in the next inning and added another run in the third for a 3-1 advantage.

That lead would hold till the top of the fifth. Trey Kamachi opened the inning with a single to short. Porter then doubled down the left-field line to put runners at second and third. Ryan Rodriguez hit into a fielder’s choice to score Kamachi. Reece Lucero then singled up the middle to score Porter. The Blazers pulled even at 3-3.

Dixie State got the winning run in the top of the eighth. After the first two batters went down, McLaughlin tripled to left center and then scored on a throwing error. The slim lead held up and pushed the Blazers to within a half game of APU in the final standings.

Tanner Howell (2-2) got the win from the mound in relief. Offensively, Porter and McLaughlin led the team with three hits apiece.

Dixie State finishes 37-12-1 overall and 26-9-1 in the PacWest. Azusa Pacific fell to 40-10 overall and 27-9 in conference play. The Trailblazers will now await the NCAA selection process to find out their seeding and where they will play. The top team in the West Region will likely host the regional. Both Azusa Pacific and Dixie State were directly behind Chico State in the latest West Regional rankings.

The NCAA selection show will be held this Sunday. The NCAA Tournament Regionals will be held May 18-21.

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