FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State is off to the Western Athletic Conference tournament following Sunday's regular season finale, a 5-2 loss to Louisiana Tech at Beiden Field. The Bulldogs, who honored their seniors prior to the contest, have the No. 5 seed locked up for the conference tourney which begins on Wednesday in Mesa, Ariz.
"We've got the biggest games of the season ahead of us," said head coach Mike Batesole. "These guys now how to win; they know what's at stake down there in Arizona."
Fresno State concluded the regular season with a 25-25 record, having won its last three series.
Fresno State trailed the entire game after allowing three runs in the first inning.
The `Dogs cut the deficit to one run immediately in the bottom of the first. Senior second baseman Patrick Hutcheson led off with a walk before advancing to third on freshman Jordan Brink's double to right center. Sophomore Aaron Judge drove in Hutcheson with a groundout to the pitcher, followed by a run scoring groundout from senior first baseman Trent Garrison.
The `Dogs made some solid plays in the field to hold Louisiana Tech at bay. Garrison fired home to junior catcher Austin Wynns in the third to get Taylor Terrasas. In the seventh, freshman outfielder Jordan Luplow made a sprinting catch in center to take away a double from Terrasas.
LA Tech added insurance runs in the second and ninth innings.
Sophomore pitcher J.D. Salles was solid in relief. The righthander threw five scoreless innings before finally giving up a run in the top of the ninth. Salles allowed three hits and struck out six.
Fresno State will play fourth-seeded Hawai'i at 3 p.m. on Wednesday in both team's WAC tournament opener.
Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics