After a seven-game road trip, the Diamond ‘Dogs returned to Beiden Field Tuesday night for a rematch against a familiar Pac-12 opponent.
In their second game against California this season, Fresno State second baseman Chris Mariscal and left fielder Austin Guibor each recorded a home run to lead Fresno State to a 7-4 win over the Golden Bears. The ‘Dogs also topped Cal in the March 18 meeting 6-0.
“It’s nice to be home,” Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said. “This is a beautiful place to play, and it’s really nice to come home and get the win.”
The Golden Bears took an early lead after third baseman Lucas Erceg smacked a home run to right field in the top of the second off a Blake Quinn pitch to put his team up 1-0.
The ‘Dogs answered back in the bottom of the inning after Mariscal connected for a homer of his own to left field to tie things up.
Later in the same inning the ‘Dogs established a 2-1 lead after a Guibor double sent third baseman Manny Argomaniz home for the 1-run advantage.
Moments later, Fresno State shortstop Ryan Dobson ran from third to home after a wild pitch by Cal ace Alex Martinez to put his team up 3-1.
“That was maybe the biggest at-bat of the night,” Batesole said of his second baseman. “They scored and we answered back the very next hitter. That’s what good players do. They answer back and play solid defense.
“And that’s exactly what [Mariscal] did. Not only at second, but he also came in and played nice at third. That’s what winners do.”
In the bottom of the fifth, Guibor hit his second home run of the year to put the ‘Dogs on top 5-2.
Batesole’s group added another two runs in the bottom of the fourth to establish its largest lead of the game.
However, the Pac-12 school wasn’t going to go down without a fight.
In the ensuing inning, Cal cut Fresno State’s lead to three after a pair of runs from right fielder Jacob Wark and center fielder Aaron Knapp.
The Bears failed on their quest for three more runs, as Fresno State held Cal scoreless for the final four innings to seal the victory.
Quinn started on the mound for the Bulldogs and tossed four innings before being relieved by Dillon Houser. Garrett Mundell pitched the final 3 2/3 innings of the game.
The ‘Dogs are back at home today against No. 29 CSU Fullerton. Historically, the Titans (18-16, 3-6 Big West) have been one of the tougher teams in both the state and the country, but they dropped two of three games to UC Santa Barbara and were swept by Cal Poly in a 3-game series last week.
“They’re going to bring a freshman out that was a first round draft pick,” Batesole said. “He’s going to be throwing somewhere between 95 and 100 miles an hour, and he’s got a beautiful arm, so we have that to deal with.
“Anytime you play Big West teams, Fullerton in particular, the game is going to be won somewhere in the dirt on the 90-foot place, so we’re going to have to be rock-solid defensively.”