The Diamond ‘Dogs gave up three runs in the opening frame and failed to respond in a 8-2 loss against Harvard.
The loss is Fresno State’s fifth in its last six games, with an overall record of 7-10.
This losing skid raises concern for a Fresno State team that began the 2021 season with the exact same record, before a six-game losing streak sealed its sub-.5oo season.
Harvard started the game with three runs in the first half of the first inning that came off of two errors by Fresno State. One of these errors was a throwback error from catcher Zach Morgan, which resulted in a runner on second base scoring once the ball entered the dugout.
Needing to respond offensively, second baseman Andrew Kachel lined a single into right center on the ‘Dogs second at bat of the game.
Morgan’s hit into a fielder’s choice led to him to replace Kachel at first. However, the inning came to an end the next at bat after Ivan Luna popped up to the first baseman.
Neither team scored in the second inning, despite Fresno State managing to get a runner on base through a Vinny Bologna single.
Harvard started the third with a standup double from left fielder Ben Rounds. Two at bats later, Rounds scored from another Crimson single, this time from third baseman Logan Bravo.
Now behind four runs, Fresno State managed to get the second out of the inning on a flyout to center field. But just as it looked like the Diamond ‘Dogs could escape the inning with minimal damage, Harvard’s Jake Berger hit a two-run homerun to extend their lead to 6-0.
Once again, Fresno State failed to put up runs of its own in the latter half of the inning, as all three batters flew out to respective Harvard fielders.
Despite not responding in the third inning, the ‘Dogs started the fourth with two straight fly balls caught for outs. However the Crimson once again rallied with two outs as second baseman George Cooper doubled to right and was promptly knocked in from a Ben Rounds single to left center.
Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the fourth the Diamond ‘Dogs offense finally came alive.
Morgan started things off by ripping a double down the foul line into left field, and was then followed by an Ivan Luna double to deep right center field.
These two hits were followed by Josh Lauck drawing a walk, leaving the bases loaded with no outs for designated hitter Tommy Hopfe. Hopfe did not disappoint in this clutch opportunity, singling to shallow left field to knock in a run.
The very next at bat, Bologna hit a sacrifice fly to center for the ‘Dogs second run of the game, however the inning came to an end shortly after when second baseman Payton Allen hit into a double play.
At the end of the fourth inning the score stood 7-2, and it remained this way for the next four innings as both teams struggled offensively. Neither team managed to produce a hit, and the only baserunner was Fresno State’s Allen who drew a walk in the seventh inning.
In the ninth inning Harvard added an insurance run from multiple singles to extend their lead to 8-2.
The ‘Dogs showed some signs of life in the final frame, with Luna drawing a walk along with a Hopfe single putting runners in scoring position. Bologna was hit by a pitch the next at bat, leaving bases loaded with one out.
However, Allen flew out and was followed by right fielder Bobby Blandford, who also flew out to center field to end the game.
This is Fresno State’s second consecutive home loss. However, the ‘Dogs are looking to end the losing streak as they host Nevada this weekend. The first pitch is set for Friday at 6:05 p.m.