Dixie State fell one run short in both ends of a Pacific West Conference doubleheader at Academy of Art, 5-4 and 3-2, played Sunday afternoon at Laney College.
The Trailblazers (6-15, 2-9 PacWest) held the lead twice in game one, with the first occasion coming in the top half of the third inning when Logan Porter drove in the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly. AAU (11-9, 6-5 PacWest) quickly tied the game with a run in the home fourth and followed it up with single runs in each of the next two innings to lead 3-1 after six complete.
Dixie State reclaimed the advantage at 4-3 in its next offensive frame, scoring three times thanks to two costly Urban Knight errors and a Porter RBI double. However, DSU could not hold on to the lead as Academy of Art connected for three two-out hits in the eighth, with the big blow coming on a Robert Villanueva two-run double that put the Knights back on top at 5-4. AAU reliever Chris Rost (W, 2-0) then retired the Trailblazers in order in the ninth to end the game.
DSU rapped out eight hits in the opener, with Kyle Hoffman and Ben Petty-Hull each collecting two hits, while Porter finished with two RBIs. Senior southpaw Matt Mosca (ND) pitched into the sixth and surrendered eight hits and three runs (two earned) with a pair of strikeouts, though he did not figure into the decision.
In the seven-inning nightcap, the Urban Knights struck for a pair of unearned runs in the fourth and another in the sixth to lead 3-0. AAU starter Ben Kaser (W, 2-2) baffled the Trailblazer offense as he struck out five and limited DSU to just three hits in his first six-plus innings of work.
With two outs in the seventh, the Trailblazers managed to load the bases against Kaser with consecutive singles from Jake Davison and Tyler Hollow. Then after Hoffman reached on a five-pitch walk, Joe Raymond lined the first pitch he saw to the left-center gap to plate Davison and chase Kaser from the game.
Knight closer CJ Romero (S, 2) then walked Gabe Taylor on four pitches to bring home DSU’s second run. However, Romero escaped the jam on his very next offering as he induced a Jagun Leavitt game-ending fly out to preserve the AAU win.
DSU pounded out six hits in game two, with Davison accounting for two of the Trailblazers’ six safeties. Senior right-hander Tanner Howell (L, 2-1) pitched well in his first start of the year as he struck out three and allowed two unearned runs and three hits in four innings.
Dixie State looks to salvage the final game of the four-game series Monday at 6 p.m. 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.