A plethora of runs and stout pitching propelled the Dixie State University baseball team to four wins and a sweep of the Cal State University of San Bernardino Coyotes over the week.
Sophomore pitcher Dylan File took the mound for the Storm. He scattered two hits and two walks while striking out eight Coyotes over five complete innings of work. His only blemish was three unearned runs in the third inning on three errors committed by the DSU defense.
The Storm only managed two hits of their own against Coyote pitcher Tyler Wells in the first six innings. In the bottom of the seventh, though, DSU opened up the flood gates on relief pitcher Kamden Haglund.
Junior outfielder Trey Kamachi, who finished going 2-3, pushed across the first DSU run on a single, scoring Cam Gust, who walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
After a walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third, redshirt senior infielder Tanner Morache drove home both runs on a triple to left field on a scorching line drive.
Morache scored on the following pitch via suicide squeeze put down by redshirt junior infielder Drew McLaughlin, giving DSU the lead 4-3.
The Storm would add another run in the seventh before handing the ball to senior pitcher Jeremy Alderman, who slammed the door on the Coyotes, notching a 5-3 victory. The DSU pitching staff allowed only three hits and no earned runs throughout the game.
“We pride ourselves in our pitching staff,” head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. “We are all about our pitching and defense, and our pitching has been really good so far.”
In the first game of a double-header, the Coyotes jumped out to an early lead as they scored a run in the first inning. DSU quickly retaliated as it put a run on the board in both the second and third innings.
Morache extended the Storm lead in the fourth with a single to left field, which scored two runs. Morache finished going 3-5 with three RBIs as the leadoff hitter.
“My job is to get on base and handle the bat if I need to,” said Morache, an integrated studies major from Vancouver, Canada. “I try to see a bunch of pitches and see what I can do. It’s a role that I’ve always wanted to be in.”
The Storm would add four more runs in the fifth behind a mammoth two-run homerun by redshirt senior first baseman Sam Hall, which gave DSU a 6-2 advantage. Hall went 4-4 in the game with a walk and two RBIs.
“I was seeing the ball really well,” said Hall, a criminal justice major from Odgen. “I was fortunate enough to get some hits today, but, more importantly, we hit as a team. Individual performances don’t win games.”
The Storm would add two more runs in that inning to help them secure the victory 8-2. Sophomore pitcher Aaron Pope earned the victory — his first of the young season.
Kamachi left the yard in the fifth inning of game two to bring home three runs on the way to finishing the game going 3-4 with five RBIs and two runs scored. Redshirt junior outfielder Ryan Rodriguez also recorded three hits.
“Our plan is to have all nine guys contribute,” Pfatenhauer said. “The right guys got going at the same time today. When we get clicking, everyone can contribute like they did today.”
The Storm pushed across three runs in the bottom of the third inning, which started with a single by McLaughlin, who also singled in a run in the fifth inning before finishing 3-5 with 3 RBIs.
“We’re going to run into games like this offensively,” Pfatenhauer said. “Those games are gravy, but we’re used to games where we scratch and claw for a couple of runs, and I think we’re going to win a lot of games that way.”
Morache also had three hits in the affair while driving home one RBI and stealing two bases. Morache has had at least one hit in each of the four games to start the season.
Junior outfielder Miles Bice’s pinch-hit double in the eighth inning started a DSU rally that pushed home six total runs capped off by a single from Hall, which scored Kamachi. DSU secured the 10-2 victory and sweep of the Coyotes with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
“We’re a good team,” Hall said. “We have a really cohesive team right now, and we are all playing together. It’s a very family-oriented team.
DSU has two games Friday against Northwest Nazarene University and Montana State University. It will play NNU Saturday before a rematch with MSU Sunday. All games will be played at Bruce Hurst Field.