The Diamond ‘Dogs scored 11 unanswered runs Sunday afternoon at Beiden Field to top Air Force 11-1 in a conference showdown, completing the three-game sweep of the Falcons.
The victory marks the fifth-straight win for the Bulldogs (24-21, 11-13 Mountain West), while the Falcons (15-28, 5-16) have lost their third game in a row.
“’I think it’s been the whole team clicking,” Fresno State third baseman Manny Argomaniz said. “As they say, hitting is contagious. Ever since we started our road trip in Reno, as a team we’ve been hitting the ball really well. It’s just kind of snowballing and going really well for us right now.”
AFA scored the first run of the game early in the second inning before Argomaniz smacked a home run, his third of the season, to left field to tie things up at 1 apiece.
The Falcons never saw a lead again. From the fourth inning on, the Bulldogs rolled up 10 more unanswered runs to secure the win.
A strong five-run fourth led by outfielders Austin Guibor and Jordan Luplow, who drove in a combined four runs in the inning, enabled the Bulldogs to pull away. Kevin Viers singled to start the inning, and then Argomaniz hit a double down the left-field line to put him in scoring position.
Brody Russell’s bunt single sent Viers home and gave the ‘Dogs a 2-1 lead.
With two outs, freshman Guibor connected for a two-run RBI single, sending Argomaniz and Russell home. Luplow smacked a two-run double to increase the ‘Dogs’ lead to 6-1.
“What I’ve seen is way more aggressive swings,” Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said of Argomaniz. “Even his swings and misses, you can see he’s airing it out. When he swings and misses, you go, ‘Hey, don’t throw that pitch again.’ Since he’s stopped being careful and stopped trying to push the ball to right field and just started letting it go, it’s been good to have another bat in the middle of the order.”
Argomaniz hit his second homer of the game in the fifth to put his team up 7-1. The ‘Dogs added five runs in innings five through seven to establish the commanding double-digit lead and went on to maintain it.
Junior right-hand pitcher Derick Velazquez started the game for the ‘Dogs. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder only allowed six hits and one run in his five innings pitched and tallied four strikeouts.
The ‘Dogs topped the Falcons 8-1 in Game 1 and 6-1 in Game 2. Both games took place on Saturday as part of a doubleheader. Fresno State is now 5-1 this season against the Falcons.
Earlier last week the ‘Dogs defeated in-state opponents California (7-4) and Cal State Fullerton (2-1).
Fresno State will hit the road next week for its next five contests. The ‘Dogs’ five-game road trip will commence Wednesday when they travel to Southern California to face Cal State Fullerton again. They defeated the Titans in an April 23 interconference meeting at Beiden Field 2-1 in a 16-inning game that lasted over four hours.