Fresno State freshman outfielder Zach Ashford (32) reaches first base during Sunday’s Mountain West Conference matchup against San Diego State at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)
The Diamond ‘Dogs won their eighth Mountain West series of the season after taking two of three games over the weekend against San Diego State.
After splitting the first two games of the series, the Bulldogs came back Sunday to claim a 4-3 win for the 2-1 series advantage.
“That was a terrific weekend and we played phenomenal defense and our bullpen was terrific all weekend,” Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said. “As banged up as we are offensively, that is how we are going to have to win.”
Fresno State got things going in the opening inning with a Scott Silva leadoff home run to left center field for the early 1-0 lead. But in the ensuing inning, the Aztecs answered with a run off a sac fly from Tyler Adkison to tie the game at one apiece.
The ‘Dogs added three runs in the third inning thanks to Jake Stone’s triple that scored Silva and sophomore Aaron Arruda’s two-run home run.
Fresno State’s defense stepped up as it limited the Aztecs to two runs in the final six innings to seal the win.
Four pitchers saw action Sunday afternoon for the ‘Dogs starting with Edgar Gonzalez (3.1 innings pitched), followed by Tim Borst (2.2 ip), then Brennon Williams (2.0 ip) and closing out the game with Ricky Thomas (1.0 ip), who recorded his fourth save of the season.
The Bulldogs – now in first place in the conference standings – host Cal Poly Tuesday before going on the road for a weekend three-game series at UNLV.
‘Dogs honor legendary head coach Bob Bennett
Prior to Game 2 against the Aztecs on Saturday, the athletic department honored former Fresno State head coach Bob Bennett with an on-field ceremony.
The ceremony recognized Bennett – the winningest head coach in program history with 1,302 wins – for his contributions to the baseball program.
Bennett’s legacy will continue to be remembered as the university officially renamed the baseball stadium to Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium in his honor.
“The reason the fans gave us so much support is because of the players,” Bennett said. “They are the reason you donated the money to this program, because they had the character and commitment and qualities that you like. We are so appreciative of these players, because without them, there would be no stadium here. We are so appreciative of that and it is a great day for us, the Bennett family and anyone that had anything to do with it.”
-Fresno State’s 32 wins are the most since 2011 when they went 40-16.
-The ‘Dogs 24 home wins are now the most since 2011 when they claimed 26 and are the fifth-most since 2000. Fresno State won 34 in 2006, 27 in 2001 and 26 in 2005.
-The Bulldogs have now won eight of their nine MW series this season.
-It was the seventh multi-home run game of the season and the ‘Dogs now have 30 on the season.
-It was the Bulldogs 12th game this season that they have held the opponent without an extra-base hit.
-Arruda’s nine home runs are the most in a single season since Jordan Luplow hit nine in 2014.
– Borst picked up his 14th career win.
MW Baseball Standings
- Fresno State (32-17, 19-8)
- New Mexico (32-18, 17-7)
- Nevada (27-20, 16-8)
- UNLV (22-25, 12-12)
- Air Force (24-20, 9-13
- San Diego State (14-32, 6-16)
- San Jose State (15-33, 6-21)