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Baseball: Bulldogs win USC series in dominating fashion

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Pitcher William Munro took the mound against USC on Friday, a 9-1 loss decision that was the Bulldogs’ only loss against the Trojans. Khlarissa Agee / The Collegian

The bats came alive for Fresno State baseball on Sunday.

After a dismal 9-1 loss to USC on Friday, the Bulldogs snapped a seven-game losing streak

with a 5-1 win against the Trojans on Saturday night. They continued that trend with a 14-3 showing over USC in the final game of the three-game series.

The starting pitchers and the offense carried the Bulldogs in Sunday’s game.

Freshmen Tim Borst got the nod to start the game and proved he is adjusting to the collegiate level. He went 5 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and two runs.

Fresno State coach Mike Batesole said he had some concerns about the lack of strikeouts from Borst – he only had one. Batesole said he generally expects five or six strikeouts from a starter, so he might push Borst back a start to give him more time to recover in between outings. Even with a low strikeout count, Batesole said Borst’s performance impressed him.

“To go out there and pitch on guts, just like you see (William) Munro do every Friday, that’s pretty special when a kid can do that,” Batesole said. “If you can win when you don’t have your best stuff, you have a chance to be pretty good.”

The bullpen, which has been an area the Bulldogs have struggled to find consistency in, caught a break on Sunday with shutdown performances from sophomore Aaron Gillis and freshman Blake Quinn.

“We’ve been waiting to get Quinn in there. The one benefit that Quinn had is that some of these other younger guys have gone in there and tried to do too much,” Batesole said.

“You’re still going to throw with your best velocity that you can with a downward angle and with good location. You get away from the downward angle and the location, you get ripped — I don’t care if you’re throwing 94 (MPH). We’ve seen some of that happen to some of our guys.

“Instead of going out there and learning that on his (Quinn) own, he’s had the ability to watch the other guys performances and learn.”

At the plate, the Bulldogs started their offensive onslaught early, putting up five runs in the first inning. They earned all 14 of their runs before the end of the fifth inning. That total is the highest score Fresno State has put up all season.

Fresno State found production throughout the lineup, with RBIs coming from all but the first two spots in the lineup.

Outfielder Aaron Judge contributed four RBIs of his own. Catcher Austin Wynns put up three RBIs in his first at-bat.

Sundays have proven to be big days for Judge, who came within a home run of hitting for the cycle — he went 4-for-6 with two doubles, a triple and a single. That follows last Sunday’s game at Stanford, where he went 5-for-5. Judge has gone 12-for-15 in Sunday games this season.

While the Bulldogs won the game, they did suffer a loss in the form of outfielder Jordan Luplow. He came out of the game in the sixth inning with an injury to his left shoulder (his non-throwing arm) after diving for a ball in center field.

His status is currently unknown, and he will be meeting with team doctors on Monday to get a diagnosis.

Fresno State (3-7) will play its next game on Tuesday at Beiden Field against the San Jose State Spartans (2-9) at 6:35 p.m.