The Subtle Importance of Defense

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    Josh Poytress 001The art of defending your position as a pitcher requires precision, skill and heart.

    In the third inning of tonight's 10-0 victory over San Jose State in seven innings, Josh Poytress showed the Bulldog faithful at Beiden Field how the will to win can be exemplified in the fundamentals.  With the Spartan's Nick Borg running at second base and nobody out, Poytress reeled in a quick chopper by SJSU's Jason Martin to the left side of the infield grass, made sure he was balanced and delivered perfect throw over Bulldog third baseman to Isaac Vivas, who applied the tag on Borg.

    Yet, it was talented southpaw's impressive reach across his body to snag SJSU's Tim Quiery bullet up the middle and start a 1-6-3 double play that really energized the Red Wave.  The crowd also came to its feet when Poytress used his cat-like reflexes again to snatch another Spartan hit to the first base side of the pitcher's mound, that Josh flipped to Jordan Ribera at first base to end the sixth inning.

    "Josh was outstanding and had good movement within the zone and out of the zone," said Batesole. "When you can move the ball around like that and throw three balls for a strike, you give yourself a great chance."

    While home runs and strikeouts are also critical and often garner the headlines and highlights of a box score, the importance of defense and a little extra effort is magnified as a difference maker at the end of the season.

    Poytress' left arm produced a masterful four-hit, mercy-rule complete game shutout in one of his best outings of the year.

    Fresno State continues their push for the 2010 WAC regular season championship with a Saturday doubleheader at Beiden Field that starts at 2:05 p.m. with tickets as low as $8 for adults.

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