March 8, 2012
By Jennifer Jones
By Jennifer Jones
FRESNO, Calif. - Quick thinking and fast feet on the base path helped Fresno State (6-7) run past San Francisco Thursday night, 2-1 at Pete Beiden Field. The Bulldogs' bullpen struck out 11 Dons in the win. Junior Justin Charles went 2-for-2 at the plate.
"We played outstanding defense today," said head coach Mike Batesole. "If you pitch and play defense it gives you a chance. It feels good to win again."
Junior Justin Haley set two career-highs in his first start since May of last year. The Sacramento, Calif. native threw a career-high seven innings, striking out a personal best nine batters and allowing no earned runs.
"He had a good fastball today," said Batesole. "We played some outstanding defense for him when he needed a play and [Justin Charles] made a nice play down the line and that was big."
"It was awesome," said senior Taylor Garrison of Haley's performance. "He's going out there doing what we need him to do to get the win."
Haley's last home start was against San Francisco (April 2) when the 'Dogs pulled out a 4-3 win.
Both squads were held scoreless until San Francisco struck first in the top of the fourth inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, junior Austin Wynns doubled down the left field line on a 1-2 count. That spelled the end for the Dons starter Alex Balog. The right-hander went 5.2 innings, giving up six hits before he was replaced by Christian Cecilio.
Junior Daniel Moultrie came in to pinch hit and had an amazing at bat, fouling off six pitches and still earning the walk to put runners on first and second.
Freshman Chris Mariscal then hit a hard ground ball to Artiz Garcia at shortstop on a 2-2 pitch. Garcia overthrew the first baseman and Wynns came around to score from second, tying the game at 1-all.
Fresno State was perfect in the contest, committing zero errors to the Dons' one.
After a scoreless seventh, senior Thomas Harlan went in to pitch for the Bulldogs. He struck out two and allowed no hits in one inning of work.
Sophomore Aaron Judge walked with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and Kenneth Wise was hit with the second pitch of his at-bat to put runners on first and second. San Francisco then sent for lefty Jordan Remer to close the game. He struck out the next batter but then walked sophomore Jake Alvarez to load the bases. His very next pitch went wild to the right of catcher Mason Morioka and Judge came home to score the winning run.
Garrison came in at the top of the ninth for Harlan.
It's a tough position," said Garrison of taking closer responsibilities. "But I'm going to stick to whatever the coaches think is the best way for us to go out there and win a ball game. And right now it's for me to be out there for the end of the game and close it out for us.
With two outs and the game leading run on first base, Garrisons struck out Matt Chavez swinging to end the game and earn his second save of the year.
Harlan (2-2) earned the win for the Bulldogs, who head into Friday night's competition undefeated in series openers at home. The battle against San Francisco (7-7) continues tomorrow, March 9 at 6:05 p.m. Fans can purchase season and single-game tickets online or by calling the Bulldog Ticket Office at 559-278-3647.
"We Are Your Team!" Check out the action on game day from AM 940 KYNO, the flagship station for Bulldog baseball. Follow us on Facebook (fresnostateathletics) and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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