ST. GEORGE — Nationally ranked (No. 12) Dixie State remained unbeaten to begin the 2016 season as the Storm outslugged Minot State, 11-6, Friday afternoon at Bruce Hurst Field. The Storm improved to 9-0 overall to extend DSU’s best overall start in the program’s NCAA Division II era.
Dixie State jumped out to a quick 5-0 through three innings, plating a pair of unearned runs in the second before stringing together three straight two-out RBI singles in the third. Junior catcher Reece Lucero drove home the first run of the rally, followed by run-scoring safeties from sophomore third baseman Bryce Feist and senior shortstop Tanner Morache. The Storm collected five hits in the frame.
Minot State (0-6) came back with a run in the fourth off a Tylor Williamson solo home run, but DSU answered with three more runs in the home half of the stanza, thanks in part to two Beaver errors, to push the advantage to 8-1 after four innings.
However, the Beavers would mount a charge in the fifth as seven-straight MSU batters reached base after one out, which chased Dixie State starter Dylan File. Minot State wound up with five runs on six hits in the frame and had the bases loaded with still only one out on the board. But Storm hurler Mason Hilty (W, 3-0) got DSU out of the jam with a strikeout and groundout as the Storm escaped the frame with the lead at 8-6.
DSU would score a pair of insurance runs in the sixth thanks to a big two-run blast off the bat of Lucero, his first homer of the year, to extend the advantage to 10-6. Lucero’s home run was presaged earlier in his at-bat. He hit a foul ball down the left field line that traveled so far it hit the second-story apartment door across the street. The resident answered the door.
Hilty fanned six in his 3.1 innings of relief and limited the Beavers to four hits, though two of those safeties came with one out in the eighth as the Beavers brought the tying run on deck. Hilty recorded the second out of the frame with a punch out and senior reliever Kolton Brost induced a fly out to end the threat.
The Storm tacked on another run in their half of eighth inning on a wild pitch and senior closer Jeremy Alderman struck out two in a hitless ninth to end the game.
Dixie State out hit MSU 15-11, including a 4-for-4 day with an RBI and stolen base for Morache, while junior rightfielder Trey Kamachi extended his hitting streak to 13 games (dating back to last year) with a 3-for-4 effort with a stolen base. Lucero finished with two hits, three RBI and three runs scored, and junior centerfielder Jerome Hill II collected two hits with an RBI and run scored.
Dixie State concludes its 10-game season-opening home stand Sunday vs. Saint Martin’s at noon at Bruce Hurst Field. Minot State and SMU will play a doubleheader Saturday at Bruce Hurst Field beginning at noon.
Stats: DSU 11, MSU 6
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