April 14, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- In one of the most bizarre endings to a college baseball game, the Fresno State Bulldogs fell 4-3 to Mountain West-leader New Mexico on a rare ninth-inning walk-off wild pitch on Sunday afternoon at Lobo Field.
Fresno State (8-23, 3-10 Mountain West) had rallied in the top half of the ninth to tie the game at 3-3 and got a gutsy effort from sophomore starting pitcher Jordan Brink, who delivered the longest outing of his career in going eight strong innings and allowing just three runs on seven hits.
But in the bottom of the ninth, UNM's Jared Holley led off the inning against Fresno State reliever Tim Borst by reaching on a fielding error by Bulldogs' shortstop Chris Mariscal and moved to second on Chase Harris' sacrifice bunt a batter later. Sam Haggerty drew a one-out walk, and then things turned really wacky with a Southwestern flair.
A dust storm swarmed across the field as Lobos' slugger and defending co-MW Player of the Year D.J. Peterson stepped to the plate and play had to be stopped for about five minutes. After the field conditions returned to playable conditions, Borst tossed a wild pitch that advanced both Holley and Haggerty into scoring position.
The Bulldogs then elected to try to intentionally walk Peterson with first base open, but Borst sailed a pitch to the backstop on a pitch out attempt and Holley sprinted home for the Lobos' walk-off winning run.
New Mexico (20-16, 11-4 MW) had scored first with a run in the second and Fresno State evened the scored at 1-1 when Brody Russell ripped a RBI single into left field to plate Austin Wynns from second.
Wynns led off the eighth with a triple down the right field line and scored on Taylor Tempel's RBI infield single to give Fresno State a 2-1 advantage late in the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, New Mexico's Haggerty also tripled to the right field corner to lead off the frame and UNM tied the game at 2-2 when Peterson ripped a double sharply down the left field line. The Lobos took a 3-2 lead two batters later when pinch hitter John Pustay reached on a RBI fielder's choice that scored Peterson.
Down to his final strike and Aaron Judge the runner at the first, Wynns came through again by popping up a 2-2 offering into the Albuquerque wind for a two-out RBI single to shallow center field that allowed Judge to score all the way from first to tie the score at 3-3.
But despite the career-best pitching masterpiece by Brink over the first eight innings, the ninth added another wacky chapter to the Bulldogs' season and kept New Mexico in sole possession of first place in the conference standings following its first MW series sweep this year.
Fresno State returns to action at home for the start of a six-game homestand over five days on Wednesday night versus CSU Bakersfield at 6:35 p.m. PT. The Bulldogs will then host Air Force for a five-game series with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday, and the series finale on Sunday.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" --- The flagship radio station of Fresno State baseball is ESPN Radio (940 AM & 790 AM ESPN The Deuce). Follow @FSAthletics on Twitter for live in-game updates of all games during the season.
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