Fresno State sophomore outfielder Austin Guibor avoids a pickoff attempt at first base during Sunday’s 6-3 win over San Jose State. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)
The Fresno State baseball team swept its conference rival San Jose State in a three-game weekend set at Beiden Field.
On Sunday, the Spartans were on the comeback trail after falling behind 3-0 to Fresno State.
Fresno State junior infielder Kevin Viers deflated the Spartans’ effort with his third home run of the weekend to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Fresno State added two more runs in the inning to put away its Mountain West foes with the 6-3 victory.
“A home run like that lifts up the team,” Viers said. “Everyone gets a little happier. More things start happening instead of just dragging on.”
The Bulldogs’ pitching staff also collaborated all weekend to get the job done. A total of eight pitchers took the mound for the Bulldogs in Sunday’s win.
Freshman Rickey Ramirez came in from the bullpen in the third inning as the Spartans were threatening to erase Fresno State’s early 3-0 lead. He struck out two batters and stranded two runners to end the third inning.
He finished the game with two hits allowed and an error in 2 ⅓ innings of work.
“The [pitching] staff as a whole is one of the better staffs in the conference,” Ramirez said. “A lot of guys knows their role, which is very important.”
The Spartans loaded the bases in the top of the eighth after right hander Mark Reece hit the first runner he faced. Senior pitcher Will Munro replaced Reece on the mound. But after a walk, Reece was immediately replaced by Casey Rodriguez, who got the first out of the eighth with a strikeout.
Rodriguez gave the Bulldogs the second out of the inning with a pop out, and the Bulldogs brought in closer Jake Shull.
Shull left the Spartans stranded in the eighth and sealed the win in the ninth.
“Today and all week, guys came in for one batter and two batters, possibly three innings, just picking up each other,” Ramirez said. “And that’s the main thing coming out of the bullpen. No one is selfish. Everyone knows that when we come in, we’re trying to pick up the people we are coming in for.”
Tim Borst earned the win for the Bulldogs with 1 ⅔ innings pitched and one strikeout. Garrett Mundell started for the Bulldogs and allowed five hits in 2 ⅔ innings pitched.
Turtle Kuhaulua took the loss for San Jose State with four hits allowed and three errors in 1 ⅔ innings pitched.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve their Mountain West record to 6-3.
“This is a great win,” Ramirez said. “It brings momentum going into conference games against New Mexico and the road trip coming up against Santa Barbara. We’re just trying to keep the train rolling here.”
The Bulldogs will host California for a single game Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. before traveling to New Mexico for a three-game weekend series.