RENO, Nev. --- The Bulldogs' infielders turned three double plays, but the Fresno State baseball team couldn't take advantage of its 11 hits in losing 5-3 to the Nevada Wolf Pack on Thursday night at Peccole Park in the opener of a three-game Mountain West series.
The contest drew over 30 Major League Baseball scouts that were in Reno primarily to see the battle between Fresno State's Aaron Judge and Nevada's ace pitcher Bradey Shipley as both are widely considered top prospects to play at the next level.
Judge went 3-for-4 against Shipley - ripping singles in first, third and eighth off the heat-throwing right-hander. As a team, Fresno State scattered eight of its 11 hits off of Shipley, who tossed eight innings and allowed just a single run to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Bulldogs' shortstop Chris Mariscal also went 3-for-4 in the game with a RBI double and a total of four Fresno State players posted multi-hit games.
"We had some great at-bats on him," Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said about the Bulldogs' performance against Shipley. "We smoked some balls right at guys again, but we can't get that big hit at the right time. It's coming. We have to keep fighting and grind through this."
Fresno State (5-17, 1-4 Mountain West) scored its one run on Shipley in the top of the first when Bulldogs' senior catcher Austin Wynns drove in Jordan Brink with a two-out RBI single that gave the 'Dogs an early 1-0 lead.
Nevada (16-10, 4-3 MW) responded with a RBI single of its own in the bottom of the first that tied the game at 1-1, and later added three in the fifth and another in the sixth to go up 5-1. The three in the fifth chased Bulldogs' lefty Tyler Linehan, who fell to 1-5 on the year.
The Bulldogs rallied for two runs in the ninth against Nevada reliever Michael Fain and had the tying run in the batter's box twice in the final frame, but pinch hitter Taylor Ward grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and Brink flew out to end it.
"There's nobody in the country playing harder than us," Batesole said. "The switch is going to turn. These kids are so, so close to being good. We have a lot of season to play in conference and beyond."
The teams will meet for game two of the three-game MW series on Friday night at 6 p.m. PT and finish up on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. PT. Both games will be broadcast on 940 AM ESPN Radio.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" --- The flagship radio station of Fresno State baseball is 940 AM ESPN Radio. Follow @FSAthletics on Twitter for live in-game updates of all games during the season.
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