A wet field and cloudy skies werenâ€™t the only thing that dampened the spirit of the Fresno State baseball team Friday night as the UC Davis edged out the Bulldogs by a final score of 4-2.
A poor offensive showing and a one big inning from UC Davis were enough to take down the defending Western Athletic Conference (WAC) champs in the 2008 season opener.
UC Davis catcher Jake Jeffries provided all the offense the Aggies would need, going 4 for 5 at the plate with two RBI.
His single in the fifth inning knocked in two runs to put the Aggies ahead of the Bulldogs 3-1.
Davis center fielder Ryan Royster had a RBI single in the fifth as well to knot up the score at 1-1.
One bright spot for the Bulldogs Friday night was catcher turned first baseman Ryan Overland. He delivered the one big burst of offense for Fresno State with a solo home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the second inning to put the Bulldogs up 1-0.
Fresno Stateâ€™s main problem was figuring out Aggiesâ€™ starting pitcher Eddie Gamboa. Gamboa had a nice combination of velocity on his fastball and good off-speed pitches to keep the Bulldogsâ€™ hitters guessing all night.
Gamboa threw a nasty slider, mixing in a slow knuckleball that confused the Fresno State lineup.
In his five innings pitched, Gamboa struck out six batters, gave up one run and only surrendered two hits to pick up the win. He didnâ€™t give up a walk.
Fresno State pulled within one run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Todd Sandell knocked in a run on a ground ball, but they were unable to come up with the tying run.
Preseason WAC Player of they Year Steve Susdorf struck out with a man on third to end the inning and the threat. Susdorf went 0 for 4 on the night.
Susdorf and the rest of the Bulldogs struck out a total of 12 times Friday night and were only able to muster five hits.
The Aggies picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on a passed ball to extend their lead to 4-2.
Defensively, Fresno State freshman center fielder Trent Soares flashed some fancy leather in the outfield, making two superb diving catches.
Fellow freshman Jake Floethe made his collegiate debut in the seventh inning for the Bulldogs. He faced five batters and gave up two hits.
Justin Wilson was the starting pitcher for the Bulldogs and picked up the loss. He pitched six innings, struck out four batters and gave up three runs.