After losing Sunday afternoon’s showdown at UC Irvine, the Fresno State baseball team won their 2014 home opener 10-1 over the Grand Canyon Antelopes Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs put up four runs in the third inning that started on a Trent Woodward RBI groundout. After Fresno State left fielder Taylor Tempel scored on a passed ball by Grand Canyon pitcher Ethan Evanko, the ‘Dogs batted in two more runs off the bats of Taylor Ward and Kevin Viers.
“So far, early in the season, we have the inside game rolling,” said Fresno State coach Mike Batesole. “That’s a strength you have to have to be a champion. You have to be outstanding on defense, throw strikes and play that inside game.”
Grand Canyon scored in the ensuing inning after an RBI groundout by first baseman Michael Pomeroy brought home Chad De La Guerra.
The Bulldogs added five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after Tempel smacked a double to deep left-center field, scoring Brody Russell, Ryan Dobson and Chris Mariscal.
“[Tempel] swung the bat really well in Irvine,” Batesole said. “He didn’t get rewarded for it in the number of hits. He had two balls hit exactly like that that both were caught. He’s kept his confidence up and is continuing to swing the bat well.
Fresno State pitcher Garrett Mundell started the game, threw three innings and allowed only one hit. In the fourth, he was pulled for Connor Chase, who threw four innings and allowed three hits for the win. Dillon Houser also pitched in relief and threw two strikeouts.
For the Antelopes, Ethan Evanko (0-1) started the game, pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed three runs.
The Bulldogs threw only 115 pitches in nine innings, while the Antelopes threw 150 in eight.
“[Mundell] did exactly what we needed him to do,” Batesole said. “We needed three innings out of him, and he came right at them. He had a good fastball today, and that’s what he has to bring every day.
“He had an OK year last year, but going to Alaska and figuring things out gave him some confidence.”
Tonight, the Bulldogs will host the Sacramento State Hornets before facing their first conference opponent of the season, the Nevada Wolf Pack.