After weather delays postponed the Fresno State baseball season opener on Friday, baseball was back in action at Pete Beiden Field on Saturday Feb. 16, as the Diamond ‘Dogs started a four game series against the Utah Valley Wolverines.
Saturday was scheduled to be a double-header for both teams, but weather only permitted game one of the series. The Bulldogs (1-0) started the season hot at the plate, scoring six runs in a 6-3 victory, and producing the 800th career win for head coach Mike Batesole.
For the ‘Dogs, senior second baseman Nolan Dempsey was in mid-season form at the plate, going 3-4 with a double and a pair of singles on the day, accounting for half of the Bulldogs’ runs with three RBIs.
The Bulldogs got the scoring started in the bottom of the firstt inning, as redshirt senior third baseman McCarthy Tatum got his first RBI of the season bringing home center fielder Zach Ashford, who reached on an error, with a single into right field, going up 1-0.
With catcher Carter Bins on third and Tatum on first, Dempsey knocked both base runners home with a double down the left field line, bringing the Bulldogs lead to 3-0.
UVU (0-1) was able to cut the lead to one with a pair of runs in the top of the third, but that would be the closest the Wolverines would get to taking the lead, as the Bulldogs added one run in each of the next three innings, highlighted by Dempsey once again driving in Tatum in the fifth.
Despite his two earned runs in the third, Jensen was able to settle in and provide the ‘Dogs with an efficient start on opening day, limiting UVU to five hits and two walks, while recording four strikeouts through five innings of work.
While UVU scored once more in the seventh, the ‘Dogs were able to shut the door on a late inning comeback, thanks in large part to the relief pitching of sophomores Oscar Carvajal in the eighth and Jamison Hill closing the door for his first save of the year in the ninth.
The win gave coach Batesole the 800th victory of his career. A milestone that Batesole said during the post-game interview with Fresno State Athletics, feels really good to get achieve.
“800 is a big number, and people have been calling the last few days to congratulate, most people were aware of it (800 wins),” Batesole said. “Here is what 800 means is the support of the Dugout Club and our administration has done for us…it feels really good.”