ST. GEORGE, Utah — Lane Pritchard homered twice and drove in three runs as Dixie State opened its eight-game homestand with an 8-3 series-opening win over Regis Thursday night at Bruce Hurst Field.
The Trailblazers (26-13/16-9 RMAC) led 3-0 after four innings, scoring their first run on a passed ball in the opening stanza, followed by back-to-back homers from Kaid Urban and Pritchard with two outs in the fourth. Meanwhile, junior righthander Brayden Bonner (ND) held the Rangers in check, limiting Regis to just two first-inning singles with three strikeouts through his first four innings of work.
However Regis would solve Bonner in the fifth as the first three Rangers reached to lead off the frame, which spelled the end of the night for the junior, who was on a restricted pitch count. The Rangers managed to push across three runs in the stanza on a pair of hits and groundout to knot the score at 3-3.
Dixie State would take the lead back in the home half of the fifth when Cade Spurlin tripled down the right field line to lead off the inning and was awarded home on an interference call after the relay throw sailed over the infield.
The Blazers tacked on an insurance run in the seventh thanks to some heads-up base-running from Tyson Fisher, who reached on a one-out single and advanced to third on a two-out Alec Flemetakis base hit. Then after Ranger reliever Matt Heibuilt threw over to first base to chase Flemetakis back to the bag, Fisher broke for home and slid in safely to extend the Blazer lead to 5-3.
DSU struck for three more runs in the eighth, which included a massive two-run opposite field blast of the bat of Pritchard, while Fisher picked up an RBI-hit later in the frame to provide the final margin of victory.Comment on this story
Meanwhile, junior reliever Tevita Gerber (W, 2-0) was virtually untouchable as he fired five innings of one-hit relief, including retiring 12 of the final 15 Rangers (12-26/7-18 RMAC) he faced from the sixth inning on. Gerber struck out a season-high six and picked off a baserunner in the seventh to earn his second win of the year.
Pritchard, who has hit five homers over his last nine games overall, collected a season-high four hits with three runs scored and a stolen base. Fisher finished with three hits to go with his RBI and his steal of home, and Spurlin went 2-for-4 with a run scored as DSU outhit Regis 14-5.
The two teams will continue their four-game series with a pair of seven-inning games on Friday afternoon beginning 4 p.m.