The Diamond ‘Dogs (11-6) just couldn’t get anything going offensively and that ultimately cost them in Tuesday night’s 3-2 home loss to Oklahoma.
“We pitched well enough to win and we played fantastic defense but at some point the guys in the middle of the [batting] order have to step up and get some hits,” Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said. “That’s why we’ve got those seniors in the middle of the order. This would’ve been a great day for the seniors to step up and make a difference. It didn’t happen today but we’ll come back out Friday and keep pitching, keep playing defense and keep giving ourselves a chance to win.”
Fresno State’s Ryan Dobson scored the game’s initial run in the bottom of the first inning as he got hit by a pitch to get on base, stole second base and then advanced home after a pair of wild pitches to give the ‘Dogs the early 1-0 lead
In the ensuing inning, Oklahoma’s Steele Walker crushed a home run into right field off Bulldogs’ starting pitcher Edgar Gonzalez to tie things up.
Dobson gave the ‘Dogs their second and final lead of the game at 2-1 by adding another run in the bottom of the third off a Sooner error.
“That’s a Big-12 team from a Power Five conference,” Batesole said of the Sooners. “It’s got all the stuff and they’re going to be good in the end. They’re a little bit young and that’s probably why they got out of the gate a little bit slow but as you saw, they’re very talented.”
The Sooners put together two more runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take the lead and played solid defense down the stretch to seal the win.
The Bulldogs combined for just three hits and one RBI all game.
Gonzalez gave up four hits and two earned runs in his four innings pitched. Despite the freshman’s struggles earlier in the season, Batesole said he likes the progress of his 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander, so much that he imagines him evolving into a solid starter for the Bulldogs.
“Gonzo has been fantastic all year,” Batesole said. “They [Oklahoma] got a couple balls up today but his breaking ball was outstanding and got strikeouts when he had to. I liked that – we’re going to have to sit down and talk. He might earn himself a start for Sunday.”
After starting the year 11-0, the Bulldogs have now dropped six straight. They’ll turn their attention now to a three-game home series with UNLV starting Friday.
“We have a little fine tuning to do on the mound but we don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we overthink it,” Batesole said. “Hey, we allowed a really good team to three runs and it’s our job offensively to get to four. We just gotta score some runs, that’s it.”