Bats alive as Trailblazer offense buries FPU Sunbirds

Dixie State University vs. Fresno Pacific University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 5, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Joe Raymond connected for his first collegiate home run and drove in a career-high three runs to help lead Dixie State to a convincing 13-3 series-opening win over Fresno Pacific Thursday night at Bruce Hurst Field. The Trailblazers won for the 10th-time in their last 13 games overall to improve to 16-19 on the year, 12-13 in Pacific West Conference play.

Dixie State’s Joe Raymond (6), Dixie State University vs. Fresno Pacific University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 5, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

After spotting the Sunbirds (14-13/11-10 PacWest) a 1-0 lead on a Hunter Villanueva home run to lead off the second, DSU came back with two runs in each of its next three offensive frames to bolt to a 6-1 advantage after four complete. Jake Engel got the Trailblazers on the board with an RBI-double after Logan Porter was hit by a pitch to lead off the home second. Engel would take third on an errant pick-off through and would scamper home on a Jake Davison single to stake DSU to a 2-1 lead.

Dixie State struck for two quick runs in the third thanks to a Jagun Leavitt lead-off double, which was followed by a two-run Raymond blast over the left field wall to extend to a 4-1 cushion. Raymond would single home another run in the fourth, then after a wild pitch, Gabe Taylor rapped a hit through the left side of the Sunbird infield to bring home Raymond, carrying DSU’s sixth run of the night.

FPU would score single runs in the fifth and seventh stanzas, but Dixie State erased any chance of a Sunbird rally as the Trailblazers scored seven runs over their final three innings to put the game away.

Raymond wound up going 2 for 4 with two runs scored to go with his homer and three RBIs, while Taylor drove in three and recorded his 13th multi-hit game of the year with a 4 for 5 night, and Leavitt finished with two stolen bases and a career-high four runs scored. DSU outhit FPU 16-6 and had five batters collect at least two base hits.

The offensive support was more than enough for senior southpaw Matt Mosca (W, 4-3), who struck out three and limited the Sunbirds to three hits and two run over six innings of work. Meanwhile, freshman reliever Jimmy Borzone (S, 1) fanned four in three innings of one-run, three-hit relief to earn his first collegiate save.

The two teams will continue their four-game conference series with a doubleheader Friday afternoon beginning at 4 p.m. (MT).

DSU 9, HNU 0
DSU 8, HNU 0

The No. 7 Dixie State softball team rolled to a doubleheader sweep of Holy Names on Thursday, blanking the Hawks 9-0 and 8-0 at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

The Trailblazers (30-4, 14-4 PacWest) defense set the tone as Cambrie Hazel and Madi Dove combined for a perfect game in game one, while Alexis Barkwell and Alexandria Melendez combined for a no-hitter in game two. The offense followed suit, combining for 17 runs on 18 hits in the two five-inning wins.


After a scoreless first inning, Dixie State opened the scoring in the top of the second, scoring two runs on four hits. Jessica Gonzalez and Riley Tyteca opened the frame with back-to-back walks. Three batters later, Kaitlyn Delange belted a two-run double to left center field to give DSU a 2-0 lead. Later in the frame, Bailey Gaffin and Kori Gahn each drew an RBI-walk to push the lead to 4-0.

The Trailblazers did the rest of their damage in the fourth inning, plating five more runs on five hits. Gaffin doubled to lead off the inning, setting up a Gonzalez RBI-single. Sawyer then singled to center field, and Dani Bartholf drew a walk to load the bases. Delange cleared the bases with a three-run double to right field, followed by a Bassett RBI-single to push the score to the final tally of 9-0.

Meanwhile, the DSU defense retired the Hawks in order in each inning, as Hazel and Dove combined for a perfect game. Hazel (13-2) earned the win with three strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched, while Dove wrapped up the game with a three-up, three-down fifth inning. Delange enjoyed her best hitting performance of the season, going 3 for 3 with 5 RBIs and a run scored.


File photo, Dixie State’s Kaitlyn Delange (4), Dixie State University vs. Biola University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 31, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

The Trailblazers picked up where they left off in game two, scoring five runs on one hit and two HNU miscues to build a 5-0 lead through two innings. Gahn and Sawyer each recorded an RBI in the first, while Hinck and Gaffin each logged an RBI in the second inning.

Dixie State put the finishing touches on the win in the top of the fifth inning, scoring three runs on five hits and one HNU error. Sawyer opened the frame with a leadoff home run to left center field. Later in the inning, Hinck singled through the right side to score Emma Sweet from third. Destiny Diaz scored the final run of the game on an HNU error to push the score to the final tally of 8-0.

Barkwell and Melendez held the HNU batters in check throughout the game, as Barkwell (7-0) earned the win with one strikeout in 4.0 perfect innings of work. Melendez finished the game with two strikeouts in the fifth inning. Gaffin logged the lone multi-hit performance of game two for DSU, finishing with two hits and an RBI, while Sawyer finished with two RBIs and the home run.

Dixie State will close its six-game trip with a doubleheader at Dominican on Saturday. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. Pacific Time (noon MT).

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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