The Storm fall to 26-13 overall and 20-4 in Pacific West Conference play, while the Cougars earn a split of the weekend series improving to 20-12, 13-7 in league action.
Dixie State had seven hits and held a 2-0 through the game's first six innings. McLaughlin scored in the opening inning after a throwing error extended the frame. A second APU error, coming in the third inning, put Dalton Gust (Riverton, UT) aboard in a leadoff role. McLaughlin followed with a single and both moved in to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt from Yuto Kata (Chiba, Japan). Gust crossed home on an RBI groundout from Trey Kamachi (Kapolei, HI).
APU starter Joel Belk shrugged off the early unearned runs and scattered just five more hits to the Red Storm in a complete game effort.
Kody Christoffersen (Ogden, UT) knifed through the Cougar lineup over six shutout innings, allowing just three hits.
The Cougars, as they had done successfully in the first and third games of the series, rallied with a barrage of hits in the final three innings. They tied the game at 2-2 in the seventh rapping four hits including an RBI double from Joe Huthsing and a RBI single by Blake James. Further damage was quelled when Dixie State caught two runners stealing, second base and home plate respectively, to end the inning.
APU posted another four hits in the eighth inning to take the lead. Mitch Dergazarian laid down a squeeze bunt for an RBI single for the go-ahead hit, a run charged to Christoffersen (L. 4-2). The Cougars would add their final tally in the 9th for a 5-2 lead.
Belk finished out his great outing with a fly ball and two groundouts.
The Cougars outhit Dixie State for the game 12 to seven.
Dixie State does not return to action until April 18, when its hosts a non-conference doubleheader against Cal State LA beginning at 4 p.m.