ST. GEORGE, Utah – Drew Oldfield drove a walk-off single down the right field line in the ninth inning to hand Dixie State University a 9-8 comeback win over the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team on Sunday. The Red Storm scored six runs in the final three innings to overcome a five-run deficit and earn a series split.
The Warriors plated multiple runs in the middle innings including a three-run home run by Paul Martin in the fifth but surrendered four runs in the seventh, one in the eighth, and one in the ninth to be tabbed with the loss.
By splitting the four-game series with the Warriors 2-2, Dixie State improves to 30-19 overall, while the Warriors go to 36-13. Lewis-Clark State’s 13 losses are the most for the program since going 48-13 and winning the NAIA World Series in 2003.
With the exception of the first three and last three frames, the Warriors enjoyed a comfortable lead and looked to be headed to their third straight win.
Dixie State jumped on Warrior starter Tom Peale for three hits and two runs in the first followed by another run in the second, but was held scoreless by Peale for the next four innings.
Peale went 6 2/3 innings and left the game with an 8-7 lead despite giving up a season-high 11 hits and tying a season-high in runs allowed.
Nick Masters ended a threat in the seventh by popping up Oldfield for the final out. However, in the eighth, Masters surrendered a solo home run to Tyson Littlewood to tie the game, and then gave up the go ahead run in the ninth to be slapped with the loss.
Besides scoring three runs off of Martin’s homer in the fifth, the Warriors also scored multiple runs in the fourth and sixth. Ben Ornelas hit a two-run through the right side in the fourth, and Sean Halton drove a two-run home run to left center in the sixth.
Halton has now hit a home run in three straight games and leads the team with 15, while Martin has hit home runs in back-to-back games and has driven in eight runs in his last three. Martin and Halton both had three hits and three RBI on the day.
In three years against Dixie State, the Warriors are now 9-4 overall (3-4 away, 6-0 home). Sunday’s game marks the third time in two years that the Warriors have fallen to Dixie State in the bottom of the ninth. In 2008, Dixie State topped the Warriors 10-9 and 8-7.
LCSC now returns home for its final series of the regular season. The Warriors will face St. Martin’s on May 10-12 at Harris Field.