Mother Nature hardly allowed Dixie State University baseball to play over the weekend.
Along with being doused in rain all weekend, DSU hosted a four-team tournament which saw the Trailblazers pick up three wins, one against Concordia University of Oregon and two against Saint Martin’s University.
After coming off a frustrating series against Colorado Mesa University, the Trailblazers torched CUO to the tune of a 17-0 route.
Junior pitcher Matt Mosca picked up his third win of the season after pitching five innings of scoreless work, allowing only two hits and fanning five Cavaliers.
Eight of the nine starters in DSU’s lineup had at least two hits in the game. In total, the Trailblazers recorded 23 hits when everything was said and done.
DSU’s offense was highlighted by redshirt senior designated hitter Ryan Rodriguez who went 4-4 with two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored.
“I just do what I practice,” said Rodriguez, a business administration major from Folsom, California. “I make sure that I stay disciplined and when I get a good pitch, I don’t miss it.”
Redshirt senior Drew McLaughlin and redshirt sophomore Bryce Feist were also perfect from the plate going a combined 5-5 while driving in four RBIs and scoring four runs.
A soggy Saturday afternoon shortened DSU’s matchup with SMU. DSU carried the day with a 4-2 win.
The first pitch was delayed by 22 minutes, but the rain didn’t stop the Trailblazers from getting off to a hot start. They scored all four of their runs in the first three innings of play. McLaughlin and redshirt senior outfielder Trey Kamachi each went 2-3 in the win.
“It’s always fun to produce from the get-go,” said Kamachi, an integrated studies major from Kapolei, Hawaii. “After the series with [CMU], getting back on track is good for us going forward.”
A rain delay prevented the Trailblazers from batting in the bottom of the fifth inning, and after play had been suspended for an hour and 37 minutes, umpires called the game giving DSU the 4-2 victory.
Junior pitcher Dylan File earned his first win of the season pitching all five innings and allowing two runs on three hits.
The weather cooperated Sunday and allowed DSU to play the final game of the tournament against SMU. The Trailblazers finished on top, 10-3.
“We need to trust that we are good,” Rodriguez said. “As long as we stick together as a team, we know what we are capable of, even when we are not playing the best.”
Feist was an unblemished 4-4 scoring three runs and driving in an RBI. Most of DSU’s damage came from the first four batter in the lineup. They combined to go 5-10, drive in seven RBIs, and score five runs.
The Trailblazers accomplished a feat that is rarely seen in any level of baseball – a suicide squeeze that scored two runs. With McLaughlin and senior infielder Tyler Mildenberg on second and third base, redshirt junior first baseman Logan Porter laid down a bunt as McLaughlin stole home.
The speedy Mildenberg flew around third and scored as the SMU pitcher was making the throw to first base.
Head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said he was pleased with the way his team manufactured runs.
“That was the goal we had over the weekend,” Pfatenhauer said. “Regardless of outcomes, we wanted to make sure we were doing different things to move runners and score guys. We want to make sure that that is something we are working on, and I’m proud of the way our guys executed.”
With the wins, DSU improves to 8-3 on the season. It will wrap up its nonconference schedule next weekend by hosting Montana State University Billings beginning Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. before starting Pacific West Conference play March 4 against Holy Names University.