March 20, 2012
By Jennifer Jones
By Jennifer Jones
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State (11-9) hit .462 as a team in its 14-2 win over Kent State Tuesday night at Pete Beiden Field. The Bulldogs combined for 18 hits, four doubles and nine walks to earn their fourth consecutive win of the season.
"This is truly a team," said head coach Mike Batesole. "It takes everybody and everything that every one of us has to win games."
The Bulldogs held Kent State scoreless for over eight innings. Senior Thomas Harlan earned his third win of the year. The southpaw struck out six and gave up only four hits in six innings of work.
"We're gelling," said Harlan. "Bats are starting to come alive. We're looking strong."
"Our whole team, these past few days, we're working on taking team at bats," said Judge. "Everyone is going out there and taking some nice loose swings and just getting the job done."
Fresno State recorded at least one hit in every inning and consistently scored from the second inning on.
Junior Austin Wynns led off the second inning with a single through the right side. With two outs, sophomore Jake Alvarez singled to short, advancing Wynns. The pair would get an extra base after George Roberts couldn't corral a late throw to first by the shortstop that sailed into the visiting dugout.
Senior Patrick Hutcheson was then hit by Kent State starter Michael Clarke to load the bases and the lefty walked in the Bulldogs first run of the game.
The 'Dogs put three more across before Kent State tried to rally in the fifth. With one out, Cody Koch doubled to right field and advanced to third when Joe Koch grounded out to second. But Harlan struck out the next batter to get out of the jam and keep the shutout alive.
Fresno State's biggest offensive inning came in the sixth. The Bulldogs put up four runs off five hits to take a 10-0 lead.
"That proves that our team can score runs like that," said Brink. "If we just have that same approach and stick to the plan, we can have that in multiple games."
The run gap allowed for other 'Dogs to see time on the diamond. After junior Daniel Moultrie led off the seventh inning with a walk, senior Sam Donald took his second at-bat of the season, pinch hitting for Judge. Donald worked into a full count before getting beamed by Dan Kopcak, the Golden Flashes third pitcher of the night. Sophomore Jordan Mullins came in to pinch run for Donald and advanced to second when junior Trent Garrison walked to load the bases.
Brink then swung on the first pitch and was thrown out at first, but not before Moultrie came around to score the 11th run of the night. Freshman Taylor Tempel then singled to short and Mullins came in to score.
Roberts, who had started the game at first base and moved to third in the fourth inning, started the eighth inning on the mound for the Golden Flashes. He gave Kent State the jump start their defense needed, retiring the first two batters before walking Moultrie.
Mullins got to take his first at-bat of the year and worked the count to a walk. Roberts then hit Wise to load the bases and Garrison singled to the first baseman, scoring Moultrie and extending the lead to 13.
Brink then hit a high chopper to first and beat Cody Koch to the base for his third hit and third RBI of the night. Roberts struck out the next batter to end the inning.
"It felt good," said Mullins of his first at-bat of the season. "But it was a great effort by our team today. Tom did a great job on the mound, and it opened up other opportunities for other guys to get out there."
Bulldogs making their first appearances this season included junior college transfers Matt Fontaine and Austin Wiggins. The pair of right-handed pitchers saw one inning on the mound each, respectively.
"Sammy and Fontaine and Wiggins have been doing tremendous work for us in the middle of the week," said Batesole. "On practice days we've been asking an awful lot of those guys, to have them playing a lot in time, and you heard our dugout the loudest when those three guys were in the game because they appreciate it."
Kent State (8-9) finally put runs across with one out in the top of the ninth to end the shutout.
The second and final game of the series between the two programs is Wednesday, March 21 at 4:05 p.m.
"These guys aren't going to take a step backwards," said Batesole of the Golden Flashes. "I guarantee you they didn't like what happened today and they're going to be ready to answer the bell."
"We have to jump on them early," said Judge of tomorrow's matchup. "Kent State is a great team. Hopefully we go out there, jump on the first few innings and just take care of business."
Fans can purchase tickets online or by calling the Bulldog Ticket Office at 559-278-3647.
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