Dixie State opened its final season of Pacific West Conference play on the wrong end of a Friday sweep of two games played at Point Loma, 9-4 and 2-1, at Carroll B. Land Stadium.
After spotting Point Loma a 1-0 first inning lead in the opener, the Trailblazers (4-8, 0-2 PacWest) answered with single runs in the second and fifth frames to take a 2-1 lead. Jagun Leavitt got DSU on the board with a two-out hit to drive in Alec Flemetakis, while Jake Davison picked up an RBI on a safety squeeze that brought home Bryce Feist to stake the Trailblazers to that one-run advantage.
Senior left-hander Matt Mosca (L, 1-2) made that early tie and eventual lead stand through his first five innings of work as he limited the Sea Lions (6-5, 2-0 PacWest) to the one run and five hits. However, PLNU solved Mosca and the DSU bullpen in the sixth as the Seal Lions erupted for five runs and seven hits, while a crucial Trailblazer error extended the inning as PLNU bolted back on top at 6-2.
PLNU later tacked on an insurance run in sixth and two more in the seventh to extend to a 9-2 bulge before DSU mounted one last charge in the ninth. Gabe Taylor, Feist and Logan Porter all reached on base hits to lead off the ninth to load the bases, but the Trailblazers were held to just two runs in the rally as PLNU managed to preserve its lead and end the game.
Dixie State rapped out 12 hits in the opener, led by Porter with three hits, while Feist finished with two safeties. Mosca tied a career high with seven strikeouts in five complete innings, but the sixth frame was his undoing as he surrendered six hits and four runs (three earned).
In the nightcap, the Sea Lions scored their first run on the back end of a double steal in the second, then put another run on the board in the sixth on a Tyler Flores leadoff homer to right field.
DSU was held to just three hits in its first six offensive innings, but the Trailblazers did have a chance to tie or take the lead in the seventh after Kade Urban and Davison reached on leadoff hits. Flemetakis then loaded the bases one batter later after he drew a seven-pitch walk, but PLNU starter Trevor Abshire (W, 2-1) managed to limit DSU to only one run as he induced a Tyler Hollow RBI groundout and retired Leavitt two pitches later to escape with a one-run lead.
DSU had one last chance again in the ninth as Feist drew a pinch-hit walk with one out, but Sea Lion reliever/DH John Balliet came on to retire Flemetakis and pinch-hitter Kade Cloward on strikes to close out the win.
Davison and Urban each collected two hits in the finale, while Porter picked up another hit to go with three walks. Junior right-hander Jayden Murray (ND) fanned four and scattered seven hits and one run in four innings but did not figure in the decision.
The two teams will wrap up their four-game series with another doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon MT.
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.