March 2, 2013
By: Matt Burkholder
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State baseball team picked up a 5-1 win on Saturday night behind a complete game performance by RHP Derick Velazquez (1-1).
"Velazquez took charge of the game from start to finish," said head coach Mike Batesole. "He just kept pumping it in there, and that's the kind of pitcher we need every night."
Velazquez, the Los Banos native, pitched a shutout for the 'Dogs all the way up until the final out before an unearned run crossed the plate by way of a walk. On Saturday night, the right-hander surrendered seven hits and two walks to go with five strikeouts as he became the first pitcher of the season for the 'Dogs to go the distance.
"I felt like it was the third inning in the ninth with the run support I had," said Velazquez. "I just had to keep focused and I knew the defense had my back. Tonight just shows you, if you buy in as a team, it doesn't matter who is out there."
Louie Payetta got his first start of the season, and made an immediate impact as he put the game's first run on the board in the opening inning.
In the third, Jordan Luplow posted the second run for the 'Dogs, scoring from third on wild pitch. Luplow also picked up his fifth steal of the season in the inning when stealing second after reaching base on a walk.
Fresno State didn't waste any opportunities to jump on the Trojans miscues on the night, scoring and advancing bases on wild pitches and reaching bases by hits by the pitcher.
"Those aren't mistakes unless you cash in, and today we took advantage of that," said Batesole. "Those were big runs. We also got some productive outs tonight, we had one on the squeeze and a SAC fly, those were huge."
The Bulldogs had their most productive inning in the seventh, scoring three runs on three hits. Chris Mariscal singled through the left side with bases loaded to continue his hot streak, taking his hit streak to six games. Shota Runge, in his first start, hit a SAC fly to bring in Kevin Viers and Payetta picked up his first RBI of the season when he grounded out for a sacrifice run.
Mariscal went 2-for-4 with an RBI to raise his team-leading season batting average to .357.
The 'Dogs improve to 2-7 on the season with the win, while the Trojans drop to 6-4.
Fresno State will look to break the series tie on Sunday in game three at 1:05 p.m. at Beiden Field. All veterans and active military receive free admission as Fresno State recognizes "Salute to Sundays" while all fans have its last chance to grab a free "Our State" t-shirt at the finale.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" -- The flagship radio station of Fresno State baseball is 940 AM ESPN radio.
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