Fresno State junior Taylor Ward selected No. 26 overall; becomes highest drafted player since Matt Garza in 2005
Fresno State rallies for two runs in the bottom of the eighth to defeat UNLV 6-5 to open MW Tournament
Fresno State places most selections to All-MW team since joining the league
With the win, Fresno State secured the three-seed at next week's Mountain West Tournament
Junior Taylor Ward is one of 20 Division I catchers in line for the Johnny Bench Award
Last Updated: Jan 8, 2015
2014 (Sophomore): Named second-team All-Mountain West (catcher) ... was a two-time Mountain West Player of the Week selection back-to-back weeks - Feb. 24 (.389 BA, 4 R, 8 RBI, 2B, HR, 2 BB, SAC - week of Feb. 17-23) and March 3 (.417 BA, R, 2 RBI, 2B - week of Feb. 24-March 2) ... started in all 57 games for the Bulldogs - one of three players on the roster to do so ... made 38 starts at catcher and 19 as the designated hitter ... hit in four different spots in the starting lineup - No. 5 (23), No. 4 (21), No. 6 (10) and No. 3 (3) ... led the Bulldogs with 18 two-out RBI ... ranked second on the team in seven major offensive categories, trailing only MW Player of the Year Jordan Luplow, with a .320 batting average (No. 12 in MW), .438 slugging percentage (No. 11 in MW), 70 hits (T-No. 11 in MW), 41 RBI (No. 8 in MW), 96 total bases (No. 14 in MW), six home runs (T-No. 6 In MW) and four sacrifice flies (T-No. 6 in the MW) ... recorded an .395 on-base percentage that ranked third-best on the team and 10th in the conference ... drew 28 walks that ranked fourth on team and tied for eight-most in the MW ... recorded 20 multiple hit games and 10 multiple RBI games ... knocked home the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run against UC Irvine on Feb. 15 with a two-out single in the top of the 13th ... hit walk-off RBI-double facing two outs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat then-ranked No. 18 Texas A&M 1-0 on March 2 ... blocked the plate on a relay from right field for the game-ending putout to defeat BYU 2-1 on March 19 ... went 3-for-3 with two RBI against UNLV on April 5, accounted for half of the teams' hits, and knocked home two, two-out RBI singles to lead the Bulldogs to a 2-0 win, also sealing head coach Mike Batesole's 400th career win at Fresno State ... on May 28, selected to participate in training camp and tryout for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team - named to the final 24-man roster on June 30.
2013 (Freshman): Made 47 appearances, earning 31 starts ... finished the season with a .195 batting average with 22 hits ... had seven doubles and three home runs ... scored 15 runs and finished with 15 RBIs ... defensively had a .963 fielding percentage in 70 chances ... went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and his first collegiate home run on February 23 against No. 15 Stanford.
High School: Prepped at Shadow Hills High School, where he helped lead the team to a 20-5 record as a senior ... a two-time first-team De Anza League honoree ... named De Anza League Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year as a junior ... also named first-team All-CIF ... holds school records for batting average, hits, triples, home runs and RBI ... first athlete in school history to receive Division I scholarship ... following his senior season, drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 31st Round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
Personal: Born in Dayton, Ohio ... hometown is Oviedo, Fla. ... parents are Joe and Samantha Ward ... has one brother, Wesley, and one sister, Kyndell ... enjoys baseball and playing video games ... favorite athlete is Mike Napoli because he is a flexible Major League catcher with a strong bat ... biggest athletic thrill is a combination of signing his National Letter of Intent to attend Fresno State, being drafted by Tampa Bay out of high school and hitting a grand slam in the playoffs as a senior in high school ... most admires his parents, brother and sister ... chose to attend Fresno State because it is a great baseball school and the tradition of the program ... major at Fresno State is criminology-law enforcement.
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