Led by an impressive performance by pitcher Edgar Gonzalez in Game 3, the Fresno State baseball team was able to take the last two games of a three-game series against the Long Beach State Dirtbags at home.
Coming off a great win against UC Riverside on March 27, the Bulldogs got ready to face Long Beach State on March 29 in a series that would see them play Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In Game 1, the Bulldogs found themselves in a deficit in the early innings and had to make several pitching changes by the fourth inning. They wouldn’t find their offense until the fifth when they scored four runs, but they were already down by 14.
During the top of the sixth, it got worse for Fresno State – the Bulldogs allowed eight runs, making it 22-4. The Bulldogs finally found some consistency by the bottom of the seventh when they scored two runs, but the deficit was far too large.
Fresno State didn’t give up, and scored two runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth. The final score was 24-10.
For Game 2, the Bulldogs were hoping to have a better performance both on offense and defense.
The game started with both teams performing well in the first two innings, not allowing any runs. But in the top of the third, Fresno State pitcher Ryan Jensen found himself in trouble when he loaded the bases, then walked the next batter, allowing the first run of the game.
The Bulldogs finally got out of the top of the third, but not before giving up two more runs due to bad defensive decisions by the infield.
Fresno State’s offense got going in the bottom of the third when infielder Nolan Dempsey hit a home run to left field, driving in Torin Goldstein who was on third base.
Long Beach State would score two more in the fourth, forcing a pitching change by the Bulldogs who would bring in Jaime Arias for the fifth inning.
Arias managed to get control and only allowed two runs for the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs offense got hot in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring 11 runs, to give the ‘Dogs a 14-7 lead.
Infielder Emilio Nogales hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to seal the victory for the Bulldogs, 15-7.
In the third and final game of the series, Fresno State brought out ace pitcher Edgar Gonzalez. Long Beach State sent a really good Clayton Andrews to the pitching mound to make this game a pitchers’ duel.
Both pitchers had great performances, but Andrews got into trouble in the bottom of the third when Fresno State’s Nolan Dempsey hit a solo home run, giving the Bulldogs the early lead.
The Bulldogs’ offense was able to score one more time in the bottom of the sixth thanks to JT Arruda, who hit a double that brought in Dempsey who was on second base.
Gonzalez was nearly perfect, going all nine innings and only allowing two hits while striking out 11. The game finished 2-0, giving the Bulldogs the series win.
“We battled in this series. Even in the first game, we put up 10 runs, and all three games it was just a battle,” Gonzalez said. “I feel like we’re just going to get better. We saw some struggles in the beginning of the season, but we are making some great improvements.”
“I think it was a gutsy performance…to get slugged in the mouth one day and turn it around the next two days, it takes some heart and some grit,” head coach Mike Batesole said. “For this team to win, we have to play outstanding defense and that’s what we saw today.”