Play at the Plate Closes Homestand with Win
March 19, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
FRESNO, Calif. - The fans at Beiden Field were treated to another wild finish as the Diamond 'Dogs defeated BYU 2-1 on Wednesday night in dramatic fashion. A game that saw minimal offense was capped by the Bulldog defense capturing the game with a relay play at the plate to record the final out, allowing Fresno State to hold onto the narrow win to close out its seven-game homestand.
“There were three perfect relays tonight,” said head coach Mike Batesole. “One by [BYU] and two by us, all in the same game.”
With two outs in the top of the ninth and Jordan Brink on the mound, Brennon Lund, who had just reached on a single, sprinted around the bases on a first pitch hit that Parker Starr sent to right field toward Jordan Luplow. Lund, without hesitation rounded third, but was stopped short at the plate as Taylor Ward blocked the plate. Second baseman Jesse Medrano delivered the perfect throw home as the cut-off man for Luplow in right.
“It was good thing Luplow cut that ball off from hitting the wall,” added Batesole. “Or that run scores.”
In the fifth, again with two outs and BYU at the plate, Fresno State executed the first of two plays at the plate. This one kept the Cougars from taking the lead. The relay came from the opposite side as left fielder Jake Stone threw to shortstop Ryan Dobson and fired to Ward for the final out of the inning. One run scored on a RBI double by BYU, the only run of the game for the Cougars.
Overshadowed by the defense was a pair of solo home runs by Fresno State that enabled the ’Dogs to walk away with their 15th victory of the season. Luplow registered his fourth home run of the season with a rocket that hit the scoreboard near the line score to open a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning.
What would be the game-winner was recorded by Trent Woodward in the sixth to give the ’Dogs a 2-1 lead. Woodward's home run over the right field fence was his second of the year.
”Anything I can do to help the team win, I am more than willing to do,” said Woodward. “It just so happened that this game was my at-bat. But we really have to give credit to the pitching. It was outstanding tonight.”
Garrett Mundell set the tone through the first two innings on a staff night that saw six different pitchers enter the game. Mundell allowed one hit and struck out four in his time on the bump.
Jake Shull (1-1) earned the win in two and 2/3 innings pitched, while Brink earned his first save of the season over one and 1/3 innings of work.
Fresno State hits the road next for a three-game set versus Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series. The 'Dogs will be back in action at home next Tuesday to take in UC Santa Barbara.
"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.