No. 15/19 Dixie State came up on the short end in a pair of pitcher’s duels as part of a Saturday twin bill at No. 4/3 Colorado Mesa, 5-2 and 1-0, at Suplizio Field.
The Trailblazers (4-5) drew first blood in the opener with a two-out run in the opening stanza as Bryce Feist drove in Gabe Taylor, who singled to lead off the game. CMU (5-2) answered with a pair of runs in the home second and got another run in the fifth on a Hunter Douglas home run to left field to extend to a 3-1 lead.
Feist got one of those runs back with one out in the sixth as he connected for his second homer of the season, which cut the deficit in half at 3-2. The Trailblazers then found themselves in a huge jam in the seventh inning as CMU plated one run and loaded the bases with only one out in the frame. However, DSU escaped further damage as Trailblazer reliever Tyler Rosas struck out one and induced an inning-ending groundout to end the threat.
DSU had a chance in the eighth to tie or take or take the lead as the Trailblazers had runners on the corners with two outs, but Maverick closer AJ Landis (S, 1) came on to get the final out to preserve the CMU lead. Colorado Mesa then added an insurance run in the home eighth, and Landis retired the Trailblazers in order in the ninth to end the game.
Dixie State collected five hits in the opener, including two safeties off the bat of Logan Porter. Senior left-hander Matt Mosca (L, 1-1) posted his second solid outing of the young season as he worked into the sixth inning, scattering three runs and five hits with three strikeouts in 5.2 innings in a losing effort.
DSU could not find the offensive stroke in the seven-inning nightcap as Maverick right-hander JR McDermott (W, 1-1) struck out seven in a complete game, two-hit shutout. CMU plated the game’s lone run in the third inning, which came on a Garrett Ball two-out double.
Jake Engel singled in the second inning and Alec Flemetakis reached on a one-out safety in the fourth to account for both DSU hits. Aaron Pope (L, 0-2) rebounded from a tough season debut as the junior southpaw allowed just one run and four hits in 4.2 innings of work with two strikeouts, while sophomore reliever Brayden Bonner struck out one in 1.1 innings of one-hit relief.
The two teams wrap up their four-game set with a Sunday matinee beginning at noon.
Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.