March 16, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
FRESNO, Calif. - A single wild pitch in the top of the ninth plated the go-ahead run plus one for the New Mexico Lobos' improbable 6-4 win against the Fresno State baseball team Sunday afternoon at Beiden Field. A nightmare ending to what seemed like a bad dream this weekend as the Lobos swept the Bulldogs at home.
Bulldog closer Jake Shull entered for the top half of the ninth with the game knotted at four a piece. He needed two pitches to retire out No. 1 before Sam Haggerty reached on a single. Haggerty moved over to second with a sacrifice bunt and Chase Harris was intentionally walked to set the stage for the wild finish.
With runners on the first and second, Shull's pitch hit the dirt, and then sputtered past catcher Taylor Ward. Ward was unable to locate the ball as the ball rolled toward the Lobos dugout, Haggerty was already rounding third as first baseman Kevin Viers charged the ball. Viers hastily threw the ball wild to Ward and allowed Harris, who started at first, to score with ease on the error.
Two runs on one pitch that was not put in play, an ending that summed up the weekend for the Bulldogs.
New Mexico scored a pair of runs on two-out RBIs for the games first two runs in the first and second innings, respectively. The Lobos tallied two more in the third to open up a 4-0 lead before the Bulldogs would respond in the home half of the third.
With three runs on three hits and error in the bottom of third, the Bulldogs found themselves right back in the game. Trailing by one after three complete innings played. Freshman Jesse Medrano and Manny Argomaniz led the frame with a pair of base hits. With the aid of a fielding error that allowed Chris Mariscal to reach first on the next at-bat, Medrano scored the first run for the 'Dogs. Argomaniz reached third via fly out for the first out. With bases loaded for Jordan Luplow, he hit a dribbler toward third base. Argomaniz scored while Mariscal was out on the fielder choice that allowed Luplow to reach. Trent Woodward ripped his first career triple to right center and plated Luplow all the way from first for the third run.
After working out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth, the Bulldogs were in business again in the sixth. With two runners in scoring position with no outs the inning came to an abrupt halt. A lineout to the second baseman followed by a double play lineout that was laced back at the pitcher, allowed the Lobos pitcher Josh Walker to catch the runner at third before he could tag up.
Fresno State would tie the game with some clutch hitting by Luplow in the seventh. Luplow smacked a double to left field against two outs on the first pitch that plated Mariscal all the way from first with some heady base running.
Luplow led the 'Dogs going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and scored one run. For the series he batted .455 (5-for-11) with four RBIs and a home run. He also reached on four walks that boosted his on-base percentage to .600 while he slugged .909 percent.
Shull (1-2) was charged with the loss. The Bulldogs closer came in having allowed two earned runs with nine strikeouts in 10.2 innings.
Fresno State (13-7, 5-4 MW) continues its homestand Tuesday night as they take on the California Bears. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m.
"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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