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Dixie State baseball: DSU splits Friday twinbill with No. 28 California Baptist

No. 9/12 Dixie State used some late-inning heroics in the second game of a Friday doubleheader to salvage a split with No. 28 California Baptist in Pacific West Conference action at Bruce Hurst Field. The Storm (13-4, 1-2 PacWest) dropped the opener, 12-2, before rallying back to claim the nightcap in extra innings, 5-4.

CBU (12-5, 2-1 PacWest) scored in each of the first five innings of the game one to race out to a commanding 10-1 lead. The Lancers plated three unearned runs in the first inning, followed by single runs in the second, third and fifth frames, which bookended a four-run fourth inning.

Dixie State tallied an unearned run in of its own in the first inning and had several other scoring chances as the Storm had two runners on with less than two outs in each of the next three innings, but Lancer starter Dylan Stowell (W, 4-0) induced inning-ending double plays in all three stanzas to quell any shot of a Storm rally.

DSU was outhit, 15-10, in the opener, though nine different Storm batters had at least one base hit, with senior shortstop Tanner Morache leading the way with a pair of doubles. Sophomore lefthander Aaron Pope (L, 2-1) suffered the loss in his shortest outing of the young season as he surrendered five runs, though only two were earned, on five hits with one strikeout in 2.2 innings.

In game two the Storm jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a leadoff triple by junior center fielder Jerome Hill II, who came home one batter later on a Hayes Hall RBI single. However, that lead was short-lived as the Lancers answered with four runs on five hits in the third inning en route to a 4-1 lead.

DSU pulled to within 4-2 on a Jake Davison RBI single in the fourth, while junior hurler Mason Hilty (ND) limited CBU to two hits during his next three-plus innings of work to keep the Storm in the game.

Still trailing 4-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Storm rallied for two runs to tie the score at 4-4 to force extra innings. Junior RF Trey Kamachi reached on a one-out single, then after a Lancer error, senior 1B Sam Hall drove home Kamachi to pull DSU to within a run. Two batters later with the bases loaded, pinch hitter Cam Gust flew out right field to plate Drew McLaughlin with the tying run.

DSU reliever Sean Hardman (W, 1-0) set down the Lancers in order in the top half of the eighth, and the Storm offense would capitalize in the bottom of the frame. Miles Bice and Morache started the rally with a pair of one-out singles. Then after a strikeout, McLaughlin was hit by a pitch to load the bases and bring up reserve OF Trey Reineke, who singled through the right side on a 3-2 pitch to drive home Bice for the walk-off win.

Dixie State outhit CBU, 12-6, in the nightcap, with Morache and Kamachi picking up two hits apiece as 10 different Storm hitters collected at least one base knock. Despite the third-inning hiccup, Hilty worked a solid 6.1 innings as he fanned eight and scattered six hits and four runs (three earned).

Dixie State looks to clinch a series split Saturday as the two teams close their four-game PacWest series at noon, at Bruce Hurst Field.

Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.