STANFORD, Calif. -- The Fresno State baseball team stared elimination in the face for the fifth time in nine days and nearly had enough in the tank before running into a tidal wave in the final inning.
The Bulldogs lost 8-5 in heartbreaking fashion after senior pitcher Cody Kendall gave a career effort from the hill, but finished three outs away from earning a spot in the Regional Championship Round.
Fresno State scored twice in the second and three more in the fifth when senior designated hitter Kenneth Wise ripped a bases-clearing 3 RBI double into the right center field gap to build a 5-0 lead over the Waves.
Kendall stole the show for 24 outs before running out of gas in the ninth. Kendall retired 14 straight batters from the last out of the second inning until allowing a one-out single in the seventh that opened the door for Pepperdine to tally a two-run seventh inning rally.
The Fresno State defense stepped up for a clean afternoon in the field and turned three double plays that all ended their respective frames, including the seventh-inning threat, but Pepperdine's big six-run ninth inning capped by Matt Forgath's grand slam that sealed the Bulldogs' fate.
Fresno State finished the year with a 31-28 record, captured its seventh straight Western Athletic Conference championship and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
Alvarez Named to Stanford Regional All-Tournament Team
The Bulldogs' third baseman Jake Alvarez was named to the 2012 NCAA Stanford Regional All-Tournament Team.
In the Bulldogs' three NCAA Tournament games, Alvarez went 7-for-14 (.500) with three runs scored, a stolen base and five defensive assists.
Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics