“Grind every pitch” is the Dixie State University’s baseball team’s motto, and DSU is determined to do just that.
The Storm took on this motto for the season and is using it to help them succeed — especially in Dixie’s latest series against Holy Names University, where it swept the Hawks out of their own ball park 4-0.
“[Grinding every pitch] means grinding every single at-bat and on offense trying to get baserunners,” said pitcher Evan Parker, a junior integrated studies major from Ogden. “It means to just simplify the game.”
Prior to Holy Names, the team began a California road trip against the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Dixie beat the Urban Knights 3-1 and finished them off with a 17-3 win for the final game of the series. The Storm ended the game with 17 hits, along with junior designated hitter Kevin Kline’s third home run and junior left fielder Austin Bartleston’s first home run of the season.
Dixie started off this season 0-7 but has gotten over its slump after defeating Saint Martin’s University as well as No. 1 California Baptist University just a few days prior to its road trip. Dixie now stands at 16-11 overall and 10-2 in the conference.
Dixie defeated Saint Martin’s 3-1, but head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said what really gave the Storm confidence was their 3-1 triumph over the No. 1 CBU Lancers. The Storm knew they had to make a statement going into that series — and that is exactly what they did, Parker said.
“[The Lancer’s] game one starter had played four games,” Parker said. “He won all four and hadn’t given up a run, so we knew automatically it was going to be a grind for us.”
Dixie lost the first game against the Lancers 8-0 but came back strong as it beat CBU the next three games.
Parker said with the Lancers in the No. 1 spot, the Storm knew they had to come out and give it their all. He said it all came down to preparation and Dixie’s willingness to fight back.
“These guys are picked to win conference — but [winning conference is] our goal,” Parker said.
Pfatenhauer said the Storm are trying to make it less about the opponents and more about playing the game.
“[We do that by] throwing strikes, taking care of the baseball, putting the ball in play, and having quality at-bats,” Pfatenhauer said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the other dug out.”
The Storm hopes to continue the winning streak into next week against Hawaii Pacific University March 21-22. The first pitch will be thrown at 4 p.m. at Bruce Hurst Field.