FRESNO, Calif. – No. 7 Dixie State opened its four-game weekend series at Fresno Pacific on a sour note as the Trailblazers dropped an 8-4 decision to the Sunbirds Thursday night at the FPU Diamond.
FPU (9-12/6-7 PacWest) struck for two quick first inning runs on an Eddie Sievers two-run home run to left field off of DSU starter Dylan File (L, 5-1). The Trailblazers used the long ball to get on the board in the second as Tyler Mildenberg answered his fifth homer of the year to center field to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.
After the Sunbirds tacked on another run in the third, DSU (24-7/13-4 PacWest) chipped away with a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth frames to knot the score at 3-3. Jake Davison connected for his third home run of the year with one out in the fifth, while Bryce Feist tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to plate Trey Kamachi, who singled to open the stanza.
However the tie was short-lived as FPU erupted for five runs in the home half of the sixth. The first six Sunbirds reached base, which chased File from the game. McKay France and Jarrett Anton each collected two-run singles in the rally to help extend the FPU advantage to 8-3.
Dixie State had a chance to tie or take the lead in the eighth inning as the Trailblazers loaded the bases on a pair of walks sandwiched around a Logan Porter double. However DSU came away with only one run as FPU closer Matt Bergandi (S, 5) came on and retired both hitters he faced in the frame and pitched a hitless ninth to wrap up the Sunbird victory.
DSU finished with seven hits on the night, with Porter and Tyler Baker each collecting two safeties apiece, while Kamachi extended his hitting streak to a season-high 16 games. File fanned seven but was touched up for eight runs and eight hits in his five-plus innings of work in suffering his first loss of the year. Meanwhile, sophomore reliever Trevor Sanders punched out a career-high four in three innings of two-hit relief.
FPU starter Trent Ashford (W, 2-5) struck out eight and limited DSU’s high-powered offense to just six hits and three runs over 7.1 innings.
DSU and FPU will continue their series with a doubleheader Friday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m (PT), at the FPU Diamond.
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