Bring out the brooms because the Dixie State University baseball team swept California State University, Los Angeles in a three-game series Friday and Saturday.
CSLA, which is currently on an 11-game losing streak, went into the series hungry, head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said.
The Storm beat Cal State in game three Saturday 11-0. Junior third baseman Yuto Kata hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning. He also led the Storm with three runs. Senior pitcher Kody Christoffersen was the winning pitcher who threw nine straight innings.
The Storm were tied with the Golden Eagles 1-1 during the first game. The Storm started to fall behind into the third inning where Cal State had a two-point lead. That’s when the Storm rolled in. Dixie State had a series of on-base hits along with a grand slam by senior right fielder Kris Kaplan to put the Storm in the lead in the fourth inning.
“I had swung and fouled out to the pitcher before that, and at that point, since it was a full count, I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere,” said Kaplan, a senior biology major from Las Vegas. “It felt nice.”
The Storm had 10 runs in the fourth inning to bring the score to 10-4. The Storm continued to hold off the Golden Eagles’ defense while hitting doubles and singles to win the game 17-9.
The second game was the first of two shutouts for the Storm as they defeated Cal State 7-0. Senior first baseman Tyler Blair had three runs that game, along with a solo home run that helped Dixie defeat the Golden Eagles. John Conquy was the winning pitcher as he threw nine-straight innings.
Pfatenhauer said the Storm are now starting to prepare for playoffs May 15-18.
Pfatenhauer said the top three things the team needs to work on for playoffs are pitching, playing defense and making good decisions with the bases.
Pfatenhauer said before the team starts to worry about the playoffs, it needs to focus on the next two series against Point Loma Nazarene University and Fresno Pacific University.
The Storm will face PLNU April 25-26 in a four-game series at Carroll B. Lamb Stadium.