Fresno State junior outfielder Jake Stone runs to first base after recording a base hit during Tuesday’s nonconference matchup against Saint Mary’s. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)
The Fresno State Bulldogs defeated Saint Mary’s in walk-off fashion Tuesday Night at Pete Beiden Field.
With the game tied two runs apiece in the bottom of the ninth, junior infielder Scott Silva came through in the clutch with a solo blast to left field to end the game with a walk-off home run.
Silva credited the team’s resilience and gritty approach to winning the hard fought match.
“As a team we were working really hard,” Silva said. “We came off a long travel weekend and Air Force. We had a lot of stuff we had to get through and we came back, battled and had a good approach. [Coach] Bates[ole] has been really pounding our brains to just stay through the ball and be confident with every pitch and that’s what we did tonight.”
The ‘Dogs put the first run on the board after a Gaels error which allowed Silva to put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.
Later in the bottom of the second inning, Gaels infielder Brett Rasso doubled down the right field, allowing teammates Nate Nolan and Anthony Villa to score and take a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Bulldogs tied the game when sophomore outfielder Aaron Arruda singled to score infielder Jesse Medrano to even the match at 2-2.
The game got tight in the middle innings but the ‘Dogs stayed composed and loose in the dugout.
“Seemed like we were playing kind of flat,” Silva said. “Bates[ole] said ‘Hey we got a couple more innings left just give it your all,’ and that’s what we did – we put it all out there on the line and ended up winning.”
The magic happened in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the bases empty, Silva locked in and crushed his third home run of the season to left field to send the Bulldogs home with a win.
“[In the] last at-bat, I was just up there hoping for the best. I just got a plus count and got my pitch and it ended up working out,” he said. “Winning the game was a great experience especially walking off. We’ve only walked off once this year so to do it again was a fun time.”