No. 15/19 Dixie State wrapped up its first road trip of the 2018 season on the wrong end of a four-game sweep as No. 4/3 Colorado Mesa claimed the final game of the series, 5-3, Sunday afternoon at Suplizio Field.
The Mavericks (6-2) opened the scoring with three second-inning runs before the first out was recorded in the frame. Tanner Rempel drove in the first run with a double to center field, while Hunter Douglas followed with a two-run single three batters later to stake CMU to a 3-0 lead.
Dixie State (4-6) was stymied in the early going as CMU starter Chris Ramirez (ND) retired the first 10 Trailblazers he faced with five strikeouts. However, DSU would solve Ramirez in the fourth, which began with an Alec Flemetakis one-out single. Then, after Logan Porter drew a two-out walk, Jake Engel and Jake Davison connected for back-to-back RBI hits to cut the deficit to 3-2. Engel, who advanced to third on the Davison run-scoring double, tied the game a few pitches later when he scampered home on a Ramirez wild pitch.
The game did not stay tied long as CMU countered with two runs to lead off the home fourth to vault back on top at 5-3. Dominic DeMarco led the inning off with a single, and then after a wild pitch, Will Dixon drove a Gabe Taylor (L, 0-1) 3-2 offering over the left field wall to give his side a two-run advantage.
DSU had a chance to tie or take the lead in the ninth when Porter and Engel both reached on one-out walks, which brought the potential tying run to the plate. However, Maverick closer AJ Landis (S, 2) came on to record the final two outs, both strikeouts, to close out the win.
Engel finished with two of DSU's five hits on the day, while Davison, Flemetakis and reserve outfielder Jagun Leavitt accounted for the other three Trailblazer safeties. Taylor, who made his second start of the year, surrendered five runs and six hits with one strikeout in four innings of work.
Dixie State continues its road swing and opens its final season of Pacific West Conference play with a four-game set at Point Loma this upcoming Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24, in San Diego.
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.