March 9, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The No. 24 Fresno State baseball team picked up two wins on Sunday against Air Force at Falcon Field to win the its second conference series of the season. The 'Dogs (11-4, 5-1 MW) topped the Falcons (4-9, 1-5 MW) 7-5 to complete the second game of Saturday's doubleheader that was suspended and earned the series win with a 10-8 victory in the finale.
Saturday's game that was suspended due to darkness resumed in the top of the seventh Sunday morning with the Bulldogs leading 6-5. Fresno State allowed just one hit in three innings and tacked on one run in the ninth to secure the win.
Derick Velazquez worked all three innings to complete the game. After a shaky start in the seventh, surrendering a hit by pitch and single, Velazquez retired seven batters in row, beginning with a strike out to close the seventh before he worked through two perfect innings in the eighth and ninth.
Freshman Jimmy Lambert, who started game two on Saturday, picked up his first career win as Velazquez earned his first career save.
After a 30 minute intermission, game three got underway pairing reigning Mountain West Pitcher of the Week, sophomore Tim Borst, against freshman Griffin Jax. The Bulldog sophomore allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings of work, but was lifted by some of the most powerful offense the Bulldogs have produced to date.
Fresno State scattered a season-high 17 hits to produce its 10 runs, matching its season-high, in the 10-8 victory over Air Force in the Sunday finale.
Both sophomore Kevin Viers (3-for-5) and junior Jordan Luplow (3-for-6) were one play away from recording cycles while junior Chris Mariscal went 4-for-5 from the dish. Mariscal connected on his first four at bats before being retired on his fifth.
Despite not manufacturing a run, Luplow set the tone for the game in the first as he registered the 'Dogs first triple of the season. Luplow would cash in on his next at bat though, against two outs, the junior right fielder cleared the bases with a double to plate the game's second and third runs.
Viers added two more in the fourth with a long ball he blasted over the towering right field wall, bringing home Trent Woodward who walked on the previous at bat.
Air Force plated three in the home half of the fourth to bring them within one, but that is as close as they would get. Fresno State scored six runs over the middle innings and opened up a 10-4 lead after the top of the sixth.
The Falcons would not go away without a fight, rallying for two runs in the sixth and two more in the eighth.
Jake Shull earned his fourth save of the season while Borst earned his first win of 2014.
Fresno State returns to Beiden Field Tuesday to host Penn State for a pair of games as the Nittany Lions are out west for a spring break trip. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
"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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