March 2, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - With a 17-hit parade and great performances on the mound, the Fresno State baseball team finally earned a victory in the San Diego Tournament, defeating No. 22 San Diego State 9-2 on the tournament's final day.
After managing only four hits in a tough loss to Cal Poly a day ago, the Bulldogs (3-5) went on a hitting binge, collecting 17 hits with standout performers up and down the lineup.
Fresno State starting pitcher Justin Miller, eligible for a win for the first time this year, picked up the victory after baffling Aztec hitters in his six innings of work, allowing just two runs. Miller also struck out five San Diego State batters as he improved his record to 1-0.
Preserving Miller's win were Fresno State relievers Holden Sprague and Kris Tomlinson, who combined for three scoreless innings of work to close out the Aztecs. Sprague pitched two of those innings, allowing only one hit and striking out two. Tomlinson had a three-up, three-down inning with nothing across.
But the story of the game was the Bulldogs' ability to come up clutch with the bats, as eight of their nine runs scored came with two outs. Fresno State stocked up on runs in the third through seventh innings, scoring two, two, one, two and two runs, respectively.
"Today, that was an angry team that San Diego State had to deal with," Fresno State coach Mike Batesole said after the game. "That's what we needed to turn the corner."
Leading the surge of anger for the Bulldogs was third baseman Tommy Mendonca, who belted a mammoth home run as part of a 2-for-4 game that included two RBIs, a run and a walk. The home run was Mendonca's first of the season and the third overall for the Bulldogs this season.
"It was an angry swing," Batesole said of Mendonca's blast. "He came to the park angry today."
Mendonca was just one of a few angry swingers for the Bulldogs at the plate though, as five Bulldog batters had multiple-hit games, including a game-high four hits for second baseman Erik Wetzel. As the leadoff man for the Bulldogs, Wetzel proved to be a worthy catalyst at the top of the lineup, as he scored three runs and drove in a pair as part of his 4-for-6 day.
Fresno State right fielder Danny Muno earned a base hit in three of his four at-bats, while Alan Ahmady and Gavin Hedstrom did their part to fill the stat sheet, collecting two hits apiece. It was the second consecutive day with two hits for Hedstrom.
Rounding out the attack for the Bulldogs was freshman Jordan Ribera, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter for the Bulldogs and singled for his first hit as a Bulldog.
The Bulldogs will now look to keep their momentum rolling after ending the San Diego Tournament with a 1-3 record. Fresno State will travel to take on Santa Clara this Tuesday before returning home to host Indiana and the Pepsi-Johnny Quik Classic.
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Fresno State baseball team will begin an eight game home stand March 8 featuring two games against Indiana before the six-team Pepsi/Johnny Quik Tournament March 10-15. For information on an All-Tournament ticket package, log on to www.gobulldogs.com and click on Tickets.
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