Joe Raymond connected for his first collegiate home run and drove in a career-high three runs to help lead Dixie State to a convincing 13-3 series-opening win over Fresno Pacific on Thursday night at Bruce Hurst Field. The Trailblazers won for the 10th time in their last 13 games to improve to 16-19 overall on the year and 12-13 in Pacific West Conference play.
After spotting the Sunbirds (14-13, 11-10 PacWest) a 1-0 lead on a Hunter Villanueva home run to lead off the second, DSU came back with two runs in each of its next three offensive frames to bolt to a 6-1 advantage after four complete. Jake Engel got the Trailblazers on the board with an RBI double after Logan Porter was hit by a pitch to lead off the home second. Engel would take third on an errant pick-off through and scampered home on a Jake Davison single to stake DSU to a 2-1 lead.
Dixie State struck for two quick runs in the third thanks to a Jagun Leavitt leadoff double, which was followed by a two-run Raymond blast over the left field wall to extend to a 4-1 cushion. Raymond singled home another run in the fourth, then after a wild pitch, Gabe Taylor rapped a hit through the left side of the Sunbird infield to bring home Raymond carrying DSU’s sixth run of the night.
FPU scored single runs in the fifth and seventh stanzas, but Dixie State erased any chance of a Sunbird rally as the Trailblazers scored seven runs in their final three innings to put the game away.
Raymond wound up going 2-for-4 with two runs scored to go with his homer and three RBIs, while Taylor drove in three and recorded his 13th multi-hit game of the year with a 4-for-5 night. Leavitt finished with two stolen bases and a career-high four runs scored. DSU outhit FPU, 16-6, and had five batters collect at least two base hits.
The offensive support was more than enough for senior southpaw Matt Mosca (W, 4-3), who struck out three and limited the Sunbirds to three hits and two runs in six innings of work. Meanwhile, freshman reliever Jimmy Borzone (S, 1) fanned four in three innings of one-run, three-hit relief to earn his first collegiate save.
The two teams continue their four-game conference series with a doubleheader Friday beginning at 4 p.m. 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.dixiestateathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.