Dixie State came away with a split of the middle two games of a four-game Pacific West Conference series at Biola on Friday at Eagles Diamond. Biola blitzed the Trailblazers for a 13-3 win in the first game, while DSU took advantage of some Eagle fielding woes to erase an early five-run deficit and escape with a 9-8 win in the nightcap.
In the opener, the Trailblazers (20-21, 16-15 PacWest) drew first blood with a pair of fourth-inning runs coming on a Logan Porter RBI groundout and a Jake Engel run-scoring triple into the gap in right-center en route a 2-0 lead.
However, that lead was short-lived as the Eagles (26-21, 18-13 PacWest) countered with eight-unanswered runs in their next two offensive frames to race out to an 8-2 advantage. Biola pulled even with two runs in the home fourth before erupting for six runs in the fifth, with the big blow coming on a Jerron Largusa three-run home run.
Bolstered by the run support, Biola left-hander Troy Stainbrook (W, 4-2) retired 12 of the next 13 Trailblazers he faced to help the Eagles coast to the victory.
Three of DSU’s five hits in the game went for extra bases, including a Joe Raymond double in the sixth and a Porter RBI double in the ninth to complement the Engel three-bagger. Junior righthander Jayden Murray (L, 3-4) enjoyed a solid beginning to his day as he limited Biola to one hit through the first three innings but was done in by the Eagles’ decisive fifth frame.
In the seven-inning nightcap, the Trailblazers were gifted a two-out first inning run on the first of six Eagle errors in the game. Biola was able to shake that off, however, in the home half of the frame as the Eagles pounced for six runs before DSU could record an out on their way to a commanding 6-1 lead.
Dixie State wasted little time chipping away at the deficit by plating two runs in its next two offensive stanzas to pull to within 6-5. Tyler Hollow and Jake Davison both singled to lead off the second, then after a BU fielding error, Brody Clifford doubled in both base runners to cut the deficit to 6-3. Davison picked up a two-run double of his own an inning later after Gabe Taylor and Hollow reached on walks.
Biola got one of those runs back on a River Fawley third-inning homer, but the Trailblazers countered with four more runs in the fourth to regain the lead at 9-7. Biola committed three more errors to aid the DSU rally, which was capped by a Hollow two-out, two-run single that broke a 7-7 tie.
After the Eagles made it a 9-8 game with a run in the home fourth, DSU relievers Jimmy Borzone (W, 2-0) and Tanner Howell (S, 6) combined to set down nine of the final 12 Eagles to close out the game, with Howell retiring the side in order in the seventh to collect his second save of the series.
Clifford posted his first multi-hit game of the season as he went 3-for-4 to go with his two RBIs, while Davison and Hollow each finished with two hits and two RBIs as DSU rapped out nine safeties in the game. Biola’s six errors were a DSU opponent season high, while the Trailblazers were rung up for just one error in 16 total innings on the day.
DSU looks for its fifth-straight series win in the finale Saturday beginning at 2 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.