WALNUT, Calif. – The Dixie State baseball team fell in its second elimination game against UC-San Diego in the NCAA West Regional Saturday afternoon, bringing the Red Storm’s season to a close.
The Storm offense struggled throughout the tournament, scoring only three runs in three games. The Tritons put up seven runs against DSU on nine hits. DSU could only manage to get three hits and eight base runners over the whole game.
The best opportunity for Dixie to score came in the final inning when Donald Glover, Trey Kamachi and Yuto Kata all drew walks to load the bases. However, Gentry Hatch popped out to the shortstop for the final out of the game, leaving the runners stranded.
Four Triton pitchers combined on the three-hit shutout. Fifth-seeded UCSD improved to 35-20 overall while the fourth-seeded Dixie State completed its season at 32-19.
After the Tritons put up a run in each of the second and third innings, the dam burst in the fifth and sixth innings when they put up the last five.
Triton lead-off hitter Brandon Shirley rapped a single to right. Gradeigh Sanchez then claimed to be hit-by-pitch, before Michael Mann laid down the bunt to load the bases. Jack Larsen’s hard-hit grounder was fielded by third baseman Kata, but Kata’s throw home got away from the Red Storm catcher, scoring Shirley. Dixie reliever Jeremy Alderman entered the game and got Andrew Hobson to slap a ball to first base. Kevin Kline fielded the ball and threw to second in an attempt at an inning-ending double play. But his throw was late as was the return. The play scored Sanchez. Erik Lewis drew his second walk to load the bases. Brett Levy hit an RBI single through the left side to score Mann. A strikeout finally ended the inning.
Shirley led off the sixth with a line drive off the third-base bag, ricocheting into left field. Justin Flatt, then blooped a single into center, advancing Shirley to third base. Mann hit into a fielder’s choice, knocking Shirley out. Dixie brought in Kolton Brost for Alderman. Larsen sacrificed in Flatt. Mann, who had moved to third on the sacrifice, sprinted home on a wild pitch for a 7-0 lead.
Starter Aaron Pope took the loss (4-4), giving up five runs, four of them earned, on three hits, two walks and two hit-by-pitches over four and a third innings. Dan Kolodin got the win (5-1) for UCSD.
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