Baseball born and Bulldog bred

Senior Korby Batesole has 54 hits, one home run and a .400 slugging percentage so far in his final season with the Bulldogs. (Fresno State Athletics)

A three-year letterman at Buchanan High School, senior Korby Batesole always knew he wanted to play for Fresno State.

“It was always a dream to come here and play for [head coach Mike Batesole],” Batesole said.

While watching his dad coach Fresno State’s baseball team for more than 16 seasons and famously turned the Bulldogs into the Wonder ‘Dogs in 2008 after winning the NCAA Championships, Korby waited patiently on the sidelines.

“I would always come to his practices,” the younger Batesole said. “Nothing mandatory, nothing out of the ordinary. Just [for] the opportunity to play.”

Watching his father coach and then his brother Kody, play for Fresno State in 2014, Batesole fell more in love with the team.

“It was just a great group of guys and a good community within the team,” Batesole said. “I think that’s the most important thing to think about when picking a team to be on.”

Watching turned into playing for Batesole one year later when he joined the team.

Appearing in 44 games for Fresno State and 33 starts, the freshman hit an average .232 with four doubles and a home run, all while collecting 22 hits, 13 RBIs and seven runs. That season he had 33 starts with 18 at shortstop and 15 as a second baseman.

It was in his sophomore season when he became a distinguished shortstop for the ‘Dogs. Making 46 out of 56 starts at shortstop, Batesole earned a .955 fielding percentage.

In his junior year, Batesole was also making a difference on offense, with a .472 slugging percentage, 61 hits, 36 RBIs and five home runs.

Now in his senior season, Batesole reflects on what he is going to miss the most about Bulldog baseball.

“The guys and the fans,” Batesole said. “We always have a good crowd out here. Inman, Sugar Bear. Always exciting. The team. I’m going to miss being around the guys every day.”

With seven games to play, Batesole is hoping to get drafted when it’s all over.

“If not, I’d like to go to grad school and further my education and look at my options,” Batesole said.

In his four years at Fresno State, Batesole has had a stellar academic rap sheet. Collecting four Academic All-Mountain West honors and three Mountain West Scholar-Athlete awards.

The senior wants to pursue sports psychology because he loves the mental side of the game.

Although the ‘Dogs have an 11-16 record in conference play, Batesole boasts a .400 slugging percentage in his senior season with 54 hits, one home run and a .378 on-base percentage.

And like his performance on offense, his defense is also impressive. He has a .960 fielding percentage.

So, who knows what awaits Batesole and the ‘Dogs after their last regular season game on May 19 against UNLV.

What we do know is they will continue their road trip to California State University, Northridge on May 8 and be back at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium on May 11 against Hawaii in their second-to-last home series of the season.

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