Despite putting up a late-inning rally, Dixie State dropped the opening game of its eight-game Bay Area road trip at Academy of Art, 4-3, on Saturday night at Laney College. The loss snapped the Trailblazers’ 14-game winning streak vs. the Urban Knights as DSU fell to 6-13 overall, 2-7 in Pacific West Conference play.
AAU (9-9, 4-5 PacWest) broke open a scoreless game with two runs in the fourth inning and another in the fifth en route to a 3-0 lead through five complete. DSU starter Jayden Murray had retired 10 of the first 13 Urban Knights he faced until Evan Ray squared up a 1-0 pitch for a solo home run to put AAU on the board. AAU tacked on another run on a two-out Robert Villanueva single and padded its lead with a fifth-inning Jackson Murphy run-scoring hit.
Meanwhile, the DSU offense was limited to just three hits in its first six innings, all of which were leadoff singles in each of the first three innings, but the Trailblazers could not cash in early chances. However, Dixie State did manage to break through with two runs in the seventh to trim the deficit to 3-2.
Kade Urban led off the frame with a walk, then following Bryce Feist's one-out double, AAU starter Luke Lacey (W, 1-3) balked home Urban to put DSU on the board. Feist later scampered home on a Lacey wild pitch to draw Dixie State to within a run.
Academy of Art added an insurance run in the home seventh, but Dixie State got that run back one inning later on a Logan Porter sacrifice fly. However, that was as close as DSU got as two Urban Knight relievers combined to retire four of the final five Trailblazer hitters to close out the win.
Dixie State was limited to six hits in the series opener, with Feist and Gabe Taylor each collecting two safeties. Murray (L, 1-3) struck out three and scattered five hits and three runs in 4.2 innings of work in a losing effort.
The two teams will continue their four-game series with a Sunday doubleheader beginning at noon PT.
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.dixiestateathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.