April 3, 2005
Fresno, Calif. - In a classic pitcher's duel, Fresno State outlasted Rice 2-1 after Beau Mills singled to score a game-ending run in the bottom of the ninth. Bulldogs starter Doug Fister pitched his second straight complete game victory, going the full nine and allowing one run while striking out six batters and allowing six hits. Rice's Joe Savery struck out ten Fresno State batters and also pitched the entire game for Rice.
Pitching was the story of the game. Both teams went through the first four innings of the game without scoring a run, and both starters, Doug Fister for Fresno State and Joe Savery of Rice pitched the entire game.
The Owls got on the board first in the fifth inning. Rice catcher Danny Lehmann blooped a single into right field, and moved to third on a hard single to right by Adam Hale. Fister got Brian Friday to ground into a double-play to remove the threat, but Lehmann scored to give the Owls a 1-0 lead.
That lead would hold until the sixth, when DeAndre Miller singled up the middle to get on base, and moved to third after a passed ball and a wild pitch from Rice. Savery struck out Vitters to remove the threat of a sacrifice fly, but Nick Moresi fought back from an 0-2 count, hitting a single through the left side to score Miller and tie the game at 1.
Both pitchers would continue to cruise and receive the help they needed from their defenses, leading to the late-inning heroics from the Bulldogs, as Savery faced the heart of the Bulldog lineup in the bottom of the ninth. Christian Vitters, who had struck out in three earlier appearances against Savery, hit a hard grounder up the middle to start the inning, and Nick Moresi would continue the rally with a single to move Vitters into scoring position. Beau Mills was hit in the hand in the first pitch, but it was ruled a foul ball, and Mills made Rice pay, slapping a single the opposite way into shallow left, giving Vitters enough time to score on a close play at the plate to give the Bulldogs a walk-off victory.
The win earns the Bulldogs a split against Rice, and gives them the same number of losses as San Jose State in conference play going into tonight. The Spartans are the next WAC opponent for the Bulldogs, who will travel to San Jose this weekend to face the co-leader in the conference. Friday night's game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., and first pitch on Saturday and Sunday will be at 1 p.m.
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