RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A painful error and a power outage late in the game for the Dixie State offense resulted in a 6-3 first-round loss to Cal Sate Monterey Bay for the Trailblazers in the NCAA Division II West Regional.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Trailblazer relief pitcher Chance Abrath got a CSU-Monterey Bay batter to hit into a routine infield ground ball. The hit was fielded cleanly, but the ball was overthrown at first base, allowing two runners to score and break a 3-3 tie.
The Otters got another unearned run later in the inning to double up DSU’s score 6-3. CSU-MB retired six of the last seven Dixie State batters to preserve the win.
“When you get to this point, you are playing good teams,” said Dixie State head coach Chris Pfatenhauer. “Six walks and three errors make it very hard to win against good teams.”
The No. 10-ranked Trailblazers took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning as Ryan Rodriguez drove home Drew McLaughlin with the game’s first run on an RBI-groundout.
Starting pitcher Dylan File breezed through the first two-plus innings, retiring seven of the first eight Otters he faced, including four early strikeouts.
Monterey Bay knotted the score in the third, taking advantage of DSU miscues, then took the lead in the fourth with a solo home run to left field to give the Otters a 2-1 advantage.
Dixie State retook the lead in the bottom of the inning. Trey Kamachi and Jerome Hill II led off with back-to-back singles. Miles Bice and Reece Lucero each collected RBIs with consecutive sacrifice fly outs for the 3-2 lead.
Monterey Bay would pull even with another solo shot in the sixth. The game remained tied until one out remained in the top of the eighth.
Dixie State outhit the Otters 8-7. McLaughlin and Rodriguez led the team with two hits apiece. File pitched seven solid innings, scattering four hits and two earned runs (three total) with eight strikeouts. Abrath took the loss with the three unearned runs in the eighth. The Trailblazers need to win out to keep their season alive.
Dixie State will face No. 6-seed Cal State East Bay in an elimination game Friday morning at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.
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