Bulldogs' Rally Falls Short Against No. 29 Cal
March 27, 2012
By Curtis Webb
By Curtis Webb
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State baseball's ninth inning rally turned a big deficit into a late-night thriller Tuesday evening at Beiden Field. The `Dogs trailed by five runs heading into the final frame, but a barrage of hits pulled Fresno State within one before falling 7-6 to No. 29 California.
"That's what you ask out of your offense, to get that tying run to the plate," Head Coach Mike Batesole said. "We had great two-strike at-bats in the last inning."
Fresno State's ninth was highlighted by three consecutive hits off of Cal closer Logan Scott, including junior catcher Trent Garrison's two-RBI double down the right field line.
"We came really close to leaving a really good pitcher out on the field," Batesole said. "Logan Scott is fantastic. We had some great at bats off of him and we took him right down to the wire there at the end."
Cal improved to 14-9 on the season while Fresno State dropped to 13-11.
Senior lefthander Tom Harlan, fresh off a WAC Pitcher of the Week honor, continued pitching effectively through the first four innings. He retired seven straight batters at one point before eventually leaving the game in the fifth. Cal starter Michael Theofanopoul earned the win, while Harlan took the loss.
"Harlan made some big pitches when he had to," Batesole said. "He didn't walk anybody; five strikeouts in five innings on short rest; gutsy, gutsy performance."
A two-out two-run double off the bat of Cal third baseman Mitch Delfino put the Bears ahead 3-2 in the top of the fifth.
Fresno State took its only lead of the game when senior infielder Patrick Hutcheson scorched a ground ball that was a little too hot to handle for Cal third baseman Mitch Delfino. Freshman Taylor Temple came around to score from second on the play giving the `Dogs a 2-1 edge.
Several stellar plays with glove highlighted Fresno State's defensive effort.
Freshman outfielder Jordan Luplow made some dazzling plays in right. He robbed Cal's Chad Bunting of extra bases with a feet-first sliding catch in the top of the second. He laid-out head-first to steal Derek Campbell's liner from reaching the grass in shallow right in the seventh.
Freshman shortstop Chris Mariscal made a leaping grab to end the seventh and rob Campbell of another hit. Hutcheson also flashed the leather with a diving stab to erase Cal infielder Tony Renda's attempt to reach base in the ninth.
Junior catcher Austin Wynns threw out Cal's Chadd Krist attempting to steal in the top of the first.
Cal catcher Chadd Krist's two-out single up the middle scored designated hitter Vince Bruno to give the Bears a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first. Fresno State, however, responded quickly in the bottom of the frame. Hutcheson led off with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a Mariscal sacrifice bunt. One out later, sophomore outfielder Aaron Judge lined a singled to right, plating Hutcheson and tying up the score at one run each.
Freshman infielder Jordan Brink reached base in each of his five plate appearances with three singles and two walks.
The Bulldogs return to action on Friday, March 30, at 6:05 p.m. when they host New Mexico for a four-game series.
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