Fresno State second baseman Jesse Medrano runs to first base in the Bulldogs’ weekend matchup against the UC Irvine Anteaters. (Darlene Wendels)
The Fresno State baseball team’s three-game winning streak ended Tuesday night with a 7-6 loss to the Cal Poly Mustangs at Beiden Field.
For the fourth consecutive game, the Bulldogs struggled to get hits early on and fell behind. This time, however, Fresno State was unable to overcome a 7-0 deficit despite another late-game rally.
“We just got caught in between,” Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said. “We were late on the fastball and early on the breaking ball. That’s a bad combo.”
The Mustangs opened the scoring in the fourth inning after shortstop Peter Van Gansen doubled to right field to give Cal Poly a 1-0 lead.
Van Gansen scored again in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch from Fresno State’s William Munro and the Mustangs added three more runs in the inning to push the lead to 5-0.
The Bulldogs didn’t score until the eighth inning, when they closed the gap to 7-3.
With the Mustangs needing one more strike to close the game, Fresno State center fielder Brody Russell scored on an error to keep the Bulldogs alive.
First baseman Joe Prior then stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and knocked in two runs to bring the Bulldogs within one.
But the Bulldogs’ comeback effort fell short this time, as third baseman Manny Argomaniz went down swinging.
The loss was the first of the season for the Bulldogs, and the victory was the first for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs started with pitcher Andrew Bernstein who struck out four batters while allowing two hits in five innings.
Ricky Thomas started on the mound for the Bulldogs, but was pulled in the second inning for Mark Reece.
Cal Poly reliever Danny Zandona struck out three batters and allowed one hit in one inning.
Van Gansen led the Mustangs with three hits and an RBI, while Brody Russell recorded two runs and two RBIs for the Bulldogs.
“That’s a pretty good club,” Batesole said. “They have a lot of players back. They got off to a rough start last week, but they will win a lot of games.”
The ‘Dogs now travel to Nevada for a three-game series starting on Friday.
“We have a lot of older guys who have been on the road before,” Batesole said. “We will be able to handle it, but we would much rather play here.”