Senior Korby Batesole throws the ball to first base during Fresno State’s game against the University of New Mexico on March 9, 2018. (Ram Reyes/ The Collegian)

Diamond ‘Dogs take New Mexico series

After conceding the first of a three-game series, the Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team rallied to take Games 2 and 3 versus the New Mexico Lobos over the weekend at Pete Beiden Field in Bob Bennett Stadium.

New Mexico took Game 1 on Friday night for a 5-4 victory.

In Game 2, on Saturday, junior Edgar Gonzalez dominated the Lobos to the tune of seven scoreless innings along with seven strikeouts. His ability to attack the zone with consistency gave the visitors no chance. The ‘Dogs won 5-1.

In Game 3, Fresno State battled back from a first-inning deficit. Senior center fielder Zach Ashford and pinch hitter Zach Presno powered the Bulldogs Sunday to a 5-4 comeback victory.

After Sunday’s two-hit performance, Ashford increased his hitting streak to 15 games. He recorded a hit in every game he has played this season. For Presno, a right-field homer was his third of the season.

“As a coach, when someone is this hot, you get out of his way and let him ride,” head coach Mike Batesole said of Ashford’s start to the year. “He works at it so hard and was the first one here this morning and is always trying to get better.”

In the opener, the Bulldogs took a 4-0 lead into the top of the eighth but couldn’t hold on for the win. The Lobos scored twice in the eighth and three more in the ninth to take the win.

In Sunday’s finale, after giving up three runs early, Davis Moore and freshman Nikoh Mitchell combined for 11 strikeouts over seven innings to keep the Lobos in check. For the Bulldogs’ offense, Presno came to their rescue in the bottom of the sixth inning. He stepped up to the plate and connected on a room-service fastball and sent it over the right-field wall.

He wouldn’t stop there. Presno proved his worth again in the bottom of the eighth inning when he poked the ball past the New Mexico third baseman, which allowed first baseman McCarthy Tatum to score from second base.

Fresno State allowed a lone New Mexico run in the ninth inning but was able to ride its momentum for the conference win.

The Diamond ‘Dogs improve to 11-6 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

They will hit the road this week for a five-game road trip starting with Saint Mary’s on Wednesday and ending at Pepperdine on March 20. The ‘Dogs will return home on March 23 to face the Nevada Wolf Pack in a 3-game Mountain West series.