The Fresno State Diamond ‘Dogs are starting to reap the rewards of a stellar season, as the nationally-ranked baseball team received three top honors and numerous All-Mountain West honors Thursday, according to a Fresno State Athletics news release.
The trio of Bulldogs earning top conference honors includes redshirt senior infielder McCarthy Tatum earning a share of the Tony Gwynn Player of the Year, junior Ryan Jensen winning the MW Pitcher of the Year honors and skipper Mike Batesole was named the MW Coach of the Year.
In addition, eight Bulldogs received All-Mountain West honors with six being named to the first team and two to the second team, with the eight selections matching the most selections Fresno State has had in a single season since joining the MW in 2012.
Tatum has put together an outstanding season, especially in MW play hitting .341 from the plate in 29 games and led the club in hits (43), home runs (6), RBI (34) and total bases (71). Finishing the season on an 18-game hitting streak, Tatum had at least one base hit in 27 of 29 MW games and drove in at least one RBI in 25 of 29 contests.
Tatum becomes the second Bulldog to earn the Tony Gwynn Player of the Year in the Mountain West, and is the eighth ‘Dog under coach Batesole to be named the conference player of the year and 18th player in program history.
Equally as dominant for the Bulldogs was Jensen on the mound going a perfect 7-0 in nine MW starts. Tossing at least six innings in all nine outings, Jensen had a 2.51 ERA and posted 69 strikeouts in 64.2 innings while only issuing 18 walks. Earning two MW Pitcher of the Week honors, putting together standout performances on April 12 against Air Force throwing a seven-inning complete game shutout striking out a career-high 14 and a dominant eight-inning outing on May 16 at UNLV limiting the Rebels to three hits, zero earned runs and striking out 10 to clinch the MW regular season title.
Batesole earns his fourth conference coach of the year award in his tenure at Fresno State, adding to his WAC Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and 2010 and MW Coach of the Year accolades in 2016.
“It means that we have worked exceptionally hard,” said Batesole on the Bulldogs’ MW honors. “We have great support from our administration, Dugout Club and alumni and this is a reflection of hard work.”
Along with Tatum and Jensen on the first team are senior infielder Nolan Dempsey, redshirt sophomore infielder JT Arruda, senior outfielder Zach Ashford and sophomore pitcher Jaime Arias.
Dempsey hit .336 from the plate starting 28 MW games for the ‘Dogs. Tallying 37 hits, Dempsey registered 11 multi-hit games, scored 20 runs and drove in 24 RBI. Earning his first career postseason All-MW honor, he tallied five three-hit contests, including going 3-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored in the ‘Dogs 8-2 win at Nevada on May 5. Twice named the MW Player of the Week, Dempsey ended the regular season on a tear hitting .436 (17-39) over his final nine MW games scoring 11 runs while driving in 13 RBI.
Arruda joins infield mate Dempsey on the first team after hitting a team-high .364 from the plate in 29 MW games. Starting every game at shortstop, the Clovis native registered 39 hits, nine doubles, one triple, five home runs, 23 RBI and scored 28 runs. He was tabbed the MW Player of the Week on May 13 after finishing 7-for-12 in three games against San Diego State and had multiple hits and scored a run in all three games.
A second-team All-MW selection in 2018, Ashford moves up to the first team as a senior after appearing in all 29 MW games while making 27 starts. He hit .321 from the plate finishing with 34 hits, five doubles, one triple, and three home runs, drove in 11 RBI and scored 28 runs.
Rounding out the ‘Dogs first-team selections is Arias who went 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA in MW 15 appearances, while converting seven saves and struck out 28 in 24.0 innings and only allowed six earned runs and four walks. Holding batters to a .242 average, Arias struck out at least one batter in 13 of 15 appearances and only allowed an earned run in four appearances.
Named the MW Co-Freshman of the Year in 2017, Bins earned Second-Team honors as a junior hitting .243 from the plate and started all 29 MW games. Leading the team with 30 runs scored in MW contests, Bins tallied 28 hits, including four doubles and four home runs, drove in 12 RBI and stole four bases.
Finally, Moore earned his first career All-MW honor as a junior finishing 5-1 in nine MW starts. The junior struck out 59 batters in 55.0 innings while only walking 15. He tossed a career-high 9.0 innings at Nevada on May 4 limiting the Wolf Pack to three hits, one run, one walk and struck out 10 on his way to MW Pitcher of the Week honors.
After being ranked 23rd and 25th in the nation by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Baseball America also has the Bulldogs slated to make an appearance in the Los Angeles region of the NCAA Baseball Championship as the number two seed.