ST. GEORGE – Dixie State erupted for season-highs in runs and hits on Friday as the Trailblazers handed No. 1-ranked Azusa Pacific its first loss of the season, 14-3, in game three of a Pacific West Conference series at Bruce Hurst Field.
In a complete reversal of Thursday’s series opener, Dixie State (6-11/2-5 PacWest) blitzed the Cougars (16-1/6-1 PacWest) for six first-inning runs, three of which were scored before an out was recorded as the first five Trailblazers reached on base hits.
Jagun Leavitt led off the game with a double to left center and would score the game’s first run on a Gabe Taylor single. Then on the very next pitch, Logan Porter launched his second home run of the season over the left field wall to stake DSU to an early 3-0 lead. Bryce Feist and Jake Davison would follow with base hits to chase APU starter Kale Morton (L, 2-1), while the Trailblazers struck for three more runs in the frame, including a two-out, two-run single from Kade Urban.
Meanwhile, junior starter Jayden Murray (W, 1-2) faced one over the minimum through his first three innings of work, thanks in part to a pair of double-play balls in the second and third frames, though APU managed to push across its first run on the third-inning twin killing.
Dixie State got that run back and more in the home third on run-scoring singles from Urban, Taylor and Bryce Feist, while Porter collected his third RBI of the on a fly out to right field. The Trailblazers then picked up three more runs in the fourth, with the big blow coming off the bat of Alec Flemetakis, who connected for a two-run homer to left field, his second of the year, as DSU extended to a 13-1 advantage.
The run support was more than enough for Murray, who struck out four and scattered eight hits and two runs over his season-high seven innings of work to earn his first win of the season.
Every Trailblazer in the starting line-up had at least one hit as DSU finished with 19 safeties overall. Leavitt led the way with three hits and two runs scored, while Porter, Flemetakis and Urban each finished with two hits and three RBI.
Dixie State will look to salvage a split of the four-game set as the two teams will meet in the series finale Saturday at noon.
Stats: DSU 14, APU 3
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.