Opening Day is upon us and the Fresno State baseball team is getting lots of attention both locally and nationally. Baseball websites and blogs are talking about the Dogs and the possibility of a postseason run. The Bulldogs begin the quest to the postseason tonight at 6:05 p.m. against Gonzaga.
ESPN named the Top 10 NCAA Baseball Places to be this weekend and Beiden Field was No. 8. ESPN writer Eric Sorenson said this about the Dogs:
8. The Fresno tournament
Teams involved: Fresno State, Oregon State, Gonzaga
The two Cinderella programs of the 2000s face off with another Northwest squad that should be much improved. All three teams will feature a handful of players who got drafted in June but decided not to go pro. Fresno's power lineup gives the Dogs a decided edge if the pitching is slow to get going.
Key matchup: Bulldog arms versus the bats of the Beavers and Zags. Fresno returns all four weekend starters (they play four in the WAC), and also get 14th-round draftee Tyler Linehan added to the arsenal. The Beavers hit a Pac-10-worst .267 last year and the Zags were a WCC-worst .282. Those two units must establish a better 2011. Log on to ESPN.com for its full season preview.
Many writers and bloggers are also talking about the Bulldogs playing Omaha again. Baseball America writer, Aaron Fitt picked the Dogs as his choice for Omaha Sleeper. Fit said this about the Bulldogs:
My Omaha sleeper is familiar to college baseball fans: Fresno State. We were high on the veteran-laden Bulldogs heading into 2008, ranking them No. 18 in the preseason, and they wound up winning the national title. The coaching staff believes this team is constructed similarly, with stars like Jordan Ribera and Dusty Robinson surrounded by an experienced core. That could be a recipe for a deep postseason run. Log on to baseballamerica.com for full season preview.
Don't miss any of the action at Beiden Field as the Dogs host Gonzaga on opening night Feb. 18. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m.