March 14, 2014
By: Andrew Rich
By: Andrew Rich
FRESNO, Calif. -- New Mexico rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth to erase a three-run deficit and steal the opening game of the three-game Mountain West series 9-7 over Fresno State at Beiden Field on Friday night.
Fresno State drops to 13-5 overall and 5-2 in the conference.
Fueled by Bulldog errors and singles being strung together, New Mexico was able to put a four-spot up in the second and then the pivotal five run rally in the ninth.
After getting the leadoff man out to start the ninth, Chase Harris reached on an error. The error was followed by five-straight singles that produced four runs and gave the Lobos their first lead since the second inning. New Mexico would add an insurance run on an infield error by the Bulldogs to make it 9-7 going to the bottom of the ninth.
Reliever Victor Sanchez came on and set Fresno State down in order to preserve the comeback win for New Mexico.
Before the fateful ninth inning, it seemed like the power the Bulldogs brought to the field would be the story of the night.
With the game tied at four in the bottom of the third, designated hitter Taylor Ward hit a towering fly ball over the left field wall that stayed just inside the foul pole. The home run to give Fresno State a 5-4 lead was the sophomore's third homer of the young season.
The Bulldogs broke out the long ball again in the bottom of the sixth. Facing an 0-2 count with two outs, junior Jordan Luplow hit a two-run shot to left-center to push the lead to 7-4.
Luplow and Ward are now tied for the team lead with three home runs for the year.
Ace Jordan Brink, who entered with a 1.88 ERA, threw 5.1 innings and gave up four runs. Those four runs all came in the second inning and only two were earned. He fell victim to a one-out error to give the Lobos their first base runner of the game and then with the bases loaded a ball up the middle that could've been a double-play scooted into center field.
The junior starter settled in after the rocky second inning, giving up just two more hits in his final three plus innings and didn't allow another New Mexico run.
Offensively, the Bulldogs picked up right where they left off from their midweek sweep of Penn State. For the fifth-straight game Fresno State reached double-digit hits and also scored in the first inning for the third-straight game.
Four runs on five hits was the story of the first two innings for the Bulldogs. The early scoring barrage was capped by Chris Marsical's two-RBI single that hit the third base bag and rolled into foul territory.
Fresno State will look to get back to their winning ways when the series continues with New Mexico on Saturday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Freshman Jimmy Lambert is slated to start for the Bulldogs against Lobos left-hander Colton Thomson.
"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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