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Dixie State wins opener at college world series

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Matt Spring hit a two-run homer and knocked in two more with a single as Dixie State College won its first round game of the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series 9-7 over Seward County (Kan.).

Spring, a freshman from Peoria, Ariz., staked his team to a two-run lead in the first inning with that two-run single and socked his homer more than 450 feet over the left field wall in the eighth inning as Dixie State built a 9-4 lead.

The Saints, the champion of the Jayhawk Conference in Kansas, came roaring back with three runs in the ninth and had the tying run at second with one out.

But Rebels ace Matt Elliott overcame some wildness to retire the last two batters on a strikeout and a soft grounder to short.

Ray Wright and Chase Leavitt both had three hits for Dixie State, which improved to 47-13 on the season.

Seward gained a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, but the Rebels fought back with two runs in the seventh on a wild pitch that scored Wright and an RBI double by Trevor Heid that pushed home Chad Barben.

Seward tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a passed ball, but the Rebels responded with a four-run rally capped by Spring's dinger. Dixie State added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Hardt.

The wild game just wouldn't die though as the Saints took advantage of Elliott's two hit batsmen, a walk and a catcher's interference call.

"I told the guys that you never know what to expect (at the World Series)," DSC head coach Mike Littlewood said. "They had to find a way to win . and they did."

Brandon Kintzler pitched five-plus innings for the Rebels before Drew Jackson relieved. Elliott pitched the final three innings to record the win.

The Rebels advance in the bracket to play Tuesday night at 7:30 against the winner of Middle Georgia and San Jacinto (Tex.).