Fresno State baseball bounced back after a tough 7-3 loss to University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the second game of a doubleheader by beating the Rebels 6-4 on Sunday.
The ‘Dogs salvaged the final game of the team’s Mountain West season-opening series.
The Bulldogs’ bats got to work in the second inning. Catcher Carter Bins and third baseman McCarthy Tatum put the pressure on UNLV pitcher Chase Maddux right away, as the duo led off the inning with back-to-back doubles. Just two batters into the inning, the ‘Dogs had struck first.
Junior designated hitter Zach Presno followed with a single into the left-center field gap, allowing Tatum to touch home plate.
With a 2-0 advantage to work with, ‘Dogs senior pitcher Davis Moore struggled to maintain the lead his offense had just provided.
The Rebels answered in the top of the third when shortstop Bryson Stott blasted a two-run home run over the left field fence, which was followed with a base hit by senior infielder Dillon Johnson and an RBI double by freshman second baseman Edarian Williams, giving the Rebels a 3-2 advantage.
Bulldogs star catcher Carter Bins put his team back on the board the following inning with a solo home run, his first of the season, to tie the game.
The star catcher was far from finished in this one, though.
Bins knocked in another run in the home half of the 5th, which Tatum followed with his second and third RBIs of the contest on yet another double.
‘Dogs head coach Kevin Batesole said he was impressed with how Bins has contributed both offensively and defensively this season.
“That is what you love to see out of your catcher and when he is supposed to do it, it is pretty fun to watch,” Batesole said to Fresno State Athletics.
The rally increased the ‘Dogs’ lead to 6-3, which was more than enough for Moore.
Moore cruised through the next two innings until he hit another snag in the 8th, surrendering a double and single to Stott and Johnson, respectively, to cut the lead to just two.
Batesole had high praise for his ace pitcher after the game.
“You’re watching a Division I, weekend starter become one right in front of your eyes,” Batesole said. “As a freshman, he was growing. Last year was a little better and now he is a Division I weekend starter and we’ve got three of them.”
‘Dogs reliever Kevin Larson made it interesting in the final frame, as he surrendered a hit and a walk. But with runners on first and second, he got Johnson to ground out back to the pitcher to end the contest.
With some momentum now on their side, the ‘Dogs will head to Knoxville, Tennessee to face the 12-0, No. 25-ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers in a three-game series from March 8-10.