ALAMOSA, Colo. — Dixie State clinched its first-ever Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference series win after sweeping a pair of seven-inning games at Adams State Saturday afternoon at the ASU Baseball Field. The Trailblazers scored a season-high 20 runs to claim a high-scoring 20-10 decision in the opener, which was followed by a 5-3 triumph in the nightcap.
Senior righthander Jayden Murray (W, 4-1) dominated the Grizzlies from the get-go in the opener as he struck out the side in each of the first two innings and had eight punch outs through just three innings of work.
The Trailblazer offense then got going in fourth, scoring five quick runs before an out was recorded to race to a big lead. Tyler Hollow walked and Tyson Fisher doubled ahead of Murray’s battery mate Cade Spurlin, who launched a three-run home run to left-center to break the scoreless tie. Then after a Kaid Urban free pass, Jake Engel connected for his team-leading sixth homer of the year, also over the wall in left-center, to stake DSU to its five-run cushion.
After Adams State (3-14, 0-3 RMAC) countered with two unearned runs in the home fourth, the Trailblazers erupted for nine more runs in the fifth to extend to a commanding 14-2 lead. DSU sent 14 batters to the plate and six of them reached on base hits, with two of those hits coming off the bat of Fisher, who drove in the first run of the rally with a single and later struck for a two-run triple. Spurlin also drove in a run with a triple, while Urban and Braxton Ipson each connected for RBI doubles in the frame.
The run support was more than enough for Murray, who struck out a career-high 10 while limiting ASU to just two earned runs (four total) and seven hits over five innings of work to win for the fourth time in five starts.
Dixie State outhit ASU 14-13 with Fisher finishing a homer shy of the cycle as he went 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Meanwhile Spurlin drove in a career-best four runs to go with his two extra-base hits, and Hollow, Ipson and Bryce Feist each collected two RBI.
DSU’s 20 runs scored marked the first time the Blazers reached to 20-run plateau since DSU scored 23 runs in a 23-5 win over Holy Names during the 2017 season.
In the nightcap, the Trailblazers used a pair of two-run innings to race out to a 4-0 lead after three complete. DSU plated two runs in the second on a wild pitch and Lane Pritchard RBI double, then got run-scoring doubles off the bats of Spurlin and Jake Brown in the third as five of DSU’s first six hits of the game were two-base hits.Comment on this story
The four early runs bolstered a strong start from sophomore lefthander Jack Gonzales (W, 3-0), who pitched into the fifth inning and scattered five hits and two runs (one earned) with five strikeouts.
Junior reliever Colton Harris would come on to get the final out of the fifth and limited ASU to one unearned run and one hit in the sixth, while junior closer Brayden Bonner fanned two and worked around a one-out hit in the seventh to close out the win.
The Trailblazers will go for the four-game sweep in the series finale Sunday at noon.