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The Fresno State baseball team huddles up after sweeping San Jose State in a three-game weekend series on March 22 at Pete Beiden Field. The Bulldogs host San Diego State this weekend for a three-game slate. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Baseball: Late offensive production lifts Fresno State past Hornets

The Fresno State baseball team huddles up after sweeping San Jose State in a three-game weekend series on March 22 at Pete Beiden Field. The Bulldogs host San Diego State this weekend for a three-game slate. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

The Fresno State baseball team huddles up after sweeping San Jose State in a three-game weekend series on March 22 at Pete Beiden Field. The Bulldogs host San Diego State this weekend for a three-game slate. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

The Fresno State baseball team was able to turn it on late in the game to pull out an 8-0 win over Sacramento State Wednesday, leaving the ‘Dogs with a 20-21 overall record.

Freshman pitcher Ricky Thomas started on the mound for the ‘Dogs, and threw five innings with four hits, seven strikeouts and one walk. Thomas recorded career highs in both strikeouts and innings pitched in the game.

“Good road win tonight,” said Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole. “Thomas was fantastic. We were hoping to get him 70 to 80 pitches. We ended up right exactly there. It was 1-0, so we wanted him to go out and finish the fifth, so that worked out perfectly.”

After Thomas was pulled in the fifth, four other pitchers hurled an inning each to complete the shutout: Tim Borst, Anthony Arias, Dylan Lee and Dominic Topoozian. Of those four, only Arias allowed a hit in the outing.

Fresno State was only able to muster a 1-0 lead against the Hornets until the top of the eighth, when the Diamond ‘Dogs exploded for five runs to put the game out of reach. With two outs, the Bulldogs were able to score the five runs on three hits. Infielder Kevin Viers drove in three with a triple, followed by redshirt freshman outfielder Kenny Corey with a two-RBI single.

“Everyone threw great today,” Viers said. “We got that one run earlier, but we knew we needed more. Whoever needed to clutch up clutched up, and it was fantastic to watch.”

Fresno State put up two more runs in the top of the ninth, as well, with Taylor Ward’s team-leading 28th RBI of the season for the ‘Dogs’ eighth run.

Fresno State will return home to Beiden Field tonight to kick off the weekend series against the second-place San Diego State Aztecs (27-15, 14-7 MW).