The rain may have cooled down the temperature at Pete Beiden Field, but the Bulldogs' bats remained on fire against CSU Bakersfield Sunday afternoon. Fresno State (10-9) ended the weekend with a 5-0 win over the Roadrunners.
"I think we have finally taken that step forward," said head coach Mike Batesole. "Today might have been the best game yet."
Senior Kenneth Wise and freshman Jordan Luplow went 2-for-4, respectively with a run each. Junior Justin Haley went six scoreless innings, striking out six en route to his second win of the season.
This was the Bulldogs third shutout of the year.
Fresno State jumped on the board early. With one out in the second inning, Wise tripled down the right field line on 2-2 count. He would cruise home after junior Austin Wynns sacrifice flew out to center.
The 'Dogs held onto a 1-0 lead until the fourth inning. Luplow led off with a single through the left side. Sophomore Aaron Judge then stepped up and crushed a double to right center with a 2-2 count. Luplow hustled around from first, scoring his ninth run of the year.
With two outs on the board, Wynns doubled down the left field line on a 2-2 count, easily scoring Judge and giving the 'Dogs a 3-0 lead.
"You have got to play the inside game offensively and you just have to be tough as nails with two strikes," said Batesole. "You mix that with outstanding pitching and good defense and that's how this team's going to win."
The Roadrunners attempted to respond in the fifth inning. With one out and the bases loaded, the Bulldogs defense stepped up and retired the next two batters to get out of the jam. The 'Dogs have averaged only one error per game against CSU Bakersfield this year.
Fresno State would put its final two runs across in the sixth inning.
Judge led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch by reliever Scott Brattvet. He would score on a single to right center by Wise. Wynns then reached on a fielder's choice and moved to third on an error by the first baseman during freshman Jordan Brink's at-bat. He came in to score the final run when the next batter grounded out to first.
Taylor Aikenhead received the loss for CSU Bakersfield who drops to 7-11 this season.
Fresno State continues its homestead Tuesday and Wednesday against Kent State (March 20-21) in a two-game series. Fans can purchase tickets online or by calling the Bulldog Ticket Office at 559-278-3647.
Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics