Young 'Dogs Outlast Alums, 9-3
Feb. 11, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. - The 2012 Fresno State baseball team came out on top in the annual alumni game Saturday afternoon at Beiden Field. The current Bulldog squad outlasted the alums 9-3, coming back in the eighth inning to take the win.
"Every time we come out to play it's serious," sophomore Tyler Linehan said after the game. "No matter what, scrimmage or not, we play to our hardest and get our work done, so that way whether its season or practice, we get everything done and everything ready."
Linehan started on the mound for the current Bulldogs. He sat down the first nine alums in the first three innings. The lefty was hot through the fifth inning allowing no hits, no runs and only two batters on.
"I think it was just a competitive game," said Terance Frazier who competed for the Bulldogs from 1988-92 and has been playing in the alumni game for 24 consecutive years, managing the team for the past two years. "They're a solid team, they play good defense and they stayed in the game the whole time. The alumni, we brought a lot of talent to the field and they rose to the occasion."
Over 22 former Bulldogs took the diamond again in the grudge match. Among them were several members of the 2008 National Championship team as well as several now professional athletes.
With the score tied at zero in the top of the sixth inning, the alumni put two runners into scoring position off a sacrifice bunt by Gavin Hedstrom (2006-09). 2011 Most Valuable Player Danny Muno (2008-11) singled to left, scoring Frazier, ending the no hitter and the shutout in one swing of the bat. Erik Wetzel (2006-08) followed Muno with an RBI single of his own to give the alums the 2-0 lead.
"It's different but it's definitely a lot of fun," said Muno of playing with the alumni instead of against them. "It's a good showing out by the alumni and it's a lot of fun to be out here and play with the guys I played with here."
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bulldogs capitalized on a walk, subbing in pinch runner sophomore Jordan Mullins at first. Freshman Jordan Brink singled up the middle and Mullins hustled around the bases to score, ending the alums shutout. Freshman Chris Mariscal followed Brink with an RBI single of his own and the game become tied at two heading into the top of the seventh inning.
Garrett Weber (2010-11) opened the seventh with a double off the center field wall. Jordan Ribera (2008-11) grounded out to second, and moved Weber into better scoring position at third. But Weber was thrown out attempting to squeeze home on a ground ball to third by Frazier. The alumni sent in pinch hitter Will Thomas, who did not think he was playing until the half inning before his at bat.
Wearing a borrowed uniform and using borrowed equipment, the surprise addition slammed a ball to deep left center for a stand up double, scoring Frazier from first and giving the alumni the 3-2 lead.
"I knew if I was going to do something I wanted to do something big," said Thomas who was a Bulldog from 2002-05.
Jake Hower (2006-08) became the sixth pitcher on the mound for the alumni and kept the lead intact, surviving a runner in scoring position.
Newcomer Tyler Stirewalt took over for Linehan on the mound in the top of the 8th and cleared the first three alums. He would finish with two strikeouts in two innings pitched with no runs scored. Linehan went seven innings with three strikeouts and three runs.
The Bulldogs opened up the offense in the bottom of the eighth inning, brining across seven runs and earning the win.
Freshman Jordan Luplow went 2-for-3 on the day with two singles. Luplow's RBI single to center in the bottom of the eighth inning scored Mariscal and tied the game 3-3.
"Seeing all the great players that came through Fresno State and to get to play against them was a pretty neat experience," said Luplow. "Everyone that I was playing against, I was in awe of."
As the alumni manager, Frazier subbed himself in at catcher in the eighth inning, went 1-for-2 with two runs and a stolen base. He is the all-time alum hits leader and one of two Bulldogs from the 1980's who competed in the game. Dennis Springer (1986-87) went a little over an inning on the mound.
"I think it's exciting for them," said volunteer assistant coach Ryan Overland (2005-08) about the current Bulldogs. "This is the first time, even though it's not a real other opponent, it's still another team in the other dugout." Overland was a catcher on the 2008 National Championship team and has only competed in one alumni game since he graduated in 2008.
The starting lineup for the alumni was: Muno (shortstop), Wetzel (second base), Dusty Robinson (left field), Weber (third base), Ribera (first base), Brennan Gowens (right field), Nick Moresi (designated hitter), Brian Lapin (center field) and Josh Poytress (pitcher).
Below is a list of the alumni present at the event. The current Fresno State Bulldogs open the 2012 season at home in less than a week against Butler on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. Fans can purchase season and single-game tickets online or by calling the Bulldog Ticket Office at 559-278-3647.
Alumni Present by Years
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