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Bulldogs set for dogfight in Reno

By | April 26, 2012 | Sports (4)

The Diamond ‘Dogs will look for their second Western Athletic Conference win in a three-game series at Nevada that starts today and ends Sunday.

Fresno State (17-20, 1-5 WAC) comes into the series winning two of its previous three games, including one game on the road — a 5-3 win at Hawaii for its only conference victory. The Bulldogs are 4-6 in away games and are one of two teams that have amassed only one win in conference play at this point in the season. Louisiana Tech was the other. Nevada is 14-9 at home, including a perfect 3-0 in conference home games.

The ‘Dogs have lived through an up-and-down-season as their young players try to get acclimated to play at the collegiate level. There have been some high points, such as beating top-seeded Stanford, 7-4, and a five-game winning strea. But there have been low points, the lowest being two weeks ago when they were swept by San Jose State for the first time in 10 years.

Nevada has also had its struggles with a 17-17 record after starting off the season 5-1. The Wolf Pack has recently started to right its season, winning five of its last seven games. The Wolf Pack has proven to be a streaky team this season, assembling winning streaks of three-games or more on three separate occasions. It also had losing streaks of three or more on three separate occasions.

The Bulldogs are not enjoying the same amount of power in their lineups that they have had in previous seasons. There currently is a three-way tie for most home runs on the team with two. They do possess players with good batting averages and speed in their offense with three players hitting above .290. Pat Hutcheson and Aaron Judge also lead the team in stolen bases with 10 and eight, respectively.

The Bulldogs’ bullpen has done a steady job throughout the season, holding a 3.69 ERA. Starter Thomas Harlan and reliever Taylor Garrison both hold sub-3.00 ERA’s.

Nevada thrives whenever it hits a home run, going 12-4 anytime it gets at least one and is 10-14 when it doesn’t. Most of that is by Brooks Klein, who has eight on the season. He also won last week’s WAC Hitter of the Week. They also have five players batting over .300 with a minimum of 50 at-bats.

The Wolf Pack is also 20-5 when holding opponents to five runs or fewer. Wolf Pack starting pitchers Tom Jameson and Braden Shipley hold a 2.12 and 2.24 ERA, respectively.

The Bulldogs will try to climb back in the WAC standings in their three-game series. Fresno State leads the all-time series, 78-46, including 34-22 in WAC play. Today’s first pitch is slotted for 6 p.m. with the Saturday and Sunday games scheduled for 1 p.m.

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