Feb. 22, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
FRESNO, Calif. - Kevin Viers provided the late offensive heroics and Derick Velazquez was lights out in the final three innings on the mound to propel Fresno State to a 5-3 win over Nevada on Saturday afternoon at Beiden Field.
With the bases loaded and one out in a 3-3 game in the bottom of the seventh, Viers stepped to the plate against reliever Colby Blueberg and drove a ball through the right side of the infield to score Taylor Tempel with what proved to be the winning run.
Velazquez, the junior from Los Banos, Calif., picked up his second win of the season by throwing three shutout innings to finish the game. However, it didn't come easy for him. In the ninth, Nevada put the tying runs on base thanks to an error and a 2-out single and had Austin Byler coming to the plate representing the lead run. Byler, the Wolf Pack's top hitter this season, worked the count to 2-2 before Velazquez got him to swing and miss at a fastball to end the game.
In both games of the series, the Wolf Pack (2-5, 0-2) had the games' go-ahead run at the plate for the final out and was unable to push anything across.
Nevada opened the scoring in the top of the third off of freshman Jimmy Lambert. An RBI-double by Kewby Meyer and an RBI-single by Byler gave Nevada a 2-0 lead. The aggressiveness that helped the Wolf Pack grab the 2-0 lead also halted their momentum in the third. The `Dogs turned two on an unconventional 6-4-3-2 double play as the runner from second rounded third looking for the score to end the third.
Fresno State answered the call in the bottom half of the inning thanks to three clutch two-out hits. Trent Woodward singled to center to score Mariscal. Viers followed that with a single to right to tie the game and on the very next pitch, Taylor Ward hit a bloop single to left to score Woodward and give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
Nevada knotted the game back up in the top of the fifth and forced Lambert out of the game after 5 2/3 innings and left with runners at first and third. Junior Casey Rodriquez entered and retired a pinch-hitter to keep the game tied.
Fresno State will go for the three-game sweep tomorrow afternoon in the series finale at 1:05 p.m., at Beiden Field.
"Catch the Wave" - 2014 Fresno State baseball season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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