Baseball: Judge powers Bulldogs past UNLV

The Mountain West Conference regular-season championship has already been clinched by New Mexico.

With six conference games left in the, the Fresno State baseball team is battling for seed and positioning for the Mountain West Conference tournament, which it hosts beginning May 22.

The Bulldogs defeated UNLV 9-4 on Sunday to put themselves just one game behind  Nevada for fourth place in the MWC.

Fresno State improved to 10-14 in the MWC and 16-29 as it prepares for the final stretch of the regular season.

The Bulldogs have a winning record at home this season, which bodes well for them considering they close out the regular season with seven straight home games and then host the MWC Tournament.

After losing the first two games of their final road series of the season, the Bulldogs relied on the power of outfielder Aaron Judge to help them avoid a sweep to the Rebels.

After falling behind three runs, the Bulldogs rallied with a four-run fifth inning, which was highlighted by a home run by Judge.

The home run was the eighth of the season for the preseason All-American selection. Judge is having an impressive junior season, hitting .357 with 12 doubles, three triples, 28 RBIs and 35 runs scored.

Judge is the only Bulldog to start each of the team’s 45 games.

Fresno State finished with nine hits in the game.

Third baseman Kevin Viers went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Trent Garrison went 2-for-2 with two runs scored to help lead the Bulldogs.

UNLV outhit the Bulldogs 15-9, but could not get the hits needed to drive in runs.

Relief pitcher Derick Velazquez entered the game in the third inning and picked up the win for Fresno State.

Velazquez went seven innings, giving up two runs on 10 hits and striking out six.

Fresno State will host Hawaii in a nonconference game at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday and will host New Mexico for a three-game series beginning Friday.