March 30, 2013
RENO, Nev. --- The Fresno State baseball team has been so close to breaking out of its struggles this season and Saturday afternoon added another chapter in the bitter taste of defeat as the Nevada Wolf Pack rallied for a 7-6 walk-off win over the 'Dogs at Peccole Park.
"We had a chance to have a great week, but when we had a chance to turn to the corner, we gave one away," Fresno State head baseball coach Mike Batesole said. "Our control of pitches is just very, very poor. If we keep giving series away, pretty soon we will have given the season away. This has to stop."
Fresno State (6-18, 2-5 Mountain West) gave up two early runs to the Wolf Pack, but built a four-lead by scoring six runs in the sixth inning for a 6-2 advantage. The Bulldogs maintained the four-run edge going into the bottom of the eighth.
That's when the tide started to turn with Nevada (17-11, 5-4 MW) scoring twice in the eighth and adding three more in the ninth - the final dagger coming courtesy of a bases-loaded walk that ended the game.
Bulldogs' starter Tim Borst lasted 3.1 innings while allowing runs in the third and fourth before Batesole turned to the bullpen.
Fresno State reliever Garrett Mundell tossed 1.2 scoreless innings and was in line for his second win of the year until the final frame. Mundell retired both batters he faced in the fourth and gave up just one hit in the fifth.
The Bulldogs sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth, where they scored all six of their runs on Kevin Viers' two-run single, Taylor Ward's sacrifice fly, Jake Alvarez' RBI single and Chris Mariscal's RBI double.
Freshman Luke Wiechec followed up with two more scoreless innings for the Bulldogs, but allowed two earned runs in the eighth that helped the Pack get in position to make the comeback bid. Left-hander Aaron Gillis came in after Weichec hit the leadoff batter and walked the second hitter he faced in the eighth. Gillis needed just one pitch to get the only out he was asked to deliver in a lefty-on-lefty situation.
The game was then put in the hands of sophomore right-hander William Munro, who limited the damage to just the two runs in the eighth, but couldn't hold the two-run ninth-inning lead. Munro (1-3) walked four, including the game-ending bases-loaded full-count walk, while giving up four hits and allowing three decisive earned runs.
Nevada reliever Sean Prihar (2-0) had held the 'Dogs without a run gave up just one hit in the top of the ninth inning - a single to Aaron Judge - to get his second win of the season. The Pack's starter Tom Jameson worked 5.2 innings, but allowed all six earned runs and eight hits before getting bailed out by Nevada's late rally.
Offensively, Judge went a team-best 3-for-5 at the plate while Viers and senior Trent Garrison also posted multi-hit games. Both teams finished with 10 hits each.
Fresno State now heads back home after 10 days on the road and will next face Pacific on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. PT at Beiden Field for a non-conference midweek affair. The 'Dogs then host UNLV starting Friday for a three-game MW series.
"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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