April 23, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
FRESNO, Calif. - In a heavyweight bout Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton went toe-to-toe for 16 innings until Chris Mariscal landed the final blow with a walk-off RBI single to win the game 2-1.
"I think of all the years I've coached Division I baseball, I've never coached a defensive game like that," said head coach Mike Batesole. "That was phenomenal. You could go around the horn and almost every guy had more than one fantastic play, and clutch plays. That was something to see."
Regular inning baseball saw just one run scored by each side. Fullerton scored first in the fourth, an inning that very well could have seen more than one run if not for Brody Russell gunning down Tanner Pinkston at the plate. Austin Deimer scored by way of a sacrifice fly on the previous at-bat with bases loaded. Niko Pacheco then singled to shallow centerfield on the next at-bat, Russell charged the ball and caught Pinkston attempting to score from second to end the inning and limit the Titans to one run.
Manny Argomaniz led off the eighth with a solo home run that hit the scoreboard in left field to tie the game, 1-1. It was Argomaniz' second career homer as a Bulldog after hitting his first just a few days ago on April 19. Argomaniz is hitting 8-for-20 (.400) over the last five games for a team-lead seven RBI in that span.
"[Manny] has had an outstanding last few weeks," Batesole said. "Not only that, but early in the season he'd been hitting the ball hard. He's just had some tough luck all year. If you see him bloop a couple in, he's owed it."
A bevy of highlight reel plays kept the game at bay for the four hour, twenty-five minute contest.
"The story here tonight was that this was a phenomenal defensive game," Batesole added. "Jake Alvarez on the slow roller that picked off a leadoff hitter [in the 11th], then [Jesse] Medrano comes in late and make two great plays [at second base]. [Ryan] Dobson all night long made plays look routine and Taylor Ward blocked the plate well all game long too."
Casey Rodriguez, who worked three scoreless innings, kept the game in check for the Bulldogs in the 13th, ending the threat of Fullerton taking the lead with an outstanding play. After surrendering a leadoff double, Rodriguez doubled up Fullerton at second base as he leapt forward to glove an attempted bunt that popped his direction with a little too much air underneath it.
The game marched on to the 14th, solidifying the Bulldogs' longest game of the season innings-wise and duration. Fresno State went 13 innings with UC Irvine on Feb. 15 and went four hours, 11 minutes with Nevada on April 18.
Jesse Medrano led off the 16th with an infield single through the left side. Following a double-play, Medrano advanced to third to bring Mariscal to the dish. Facing two outs, he grounded the second pitch to the leftside, shortstop Keegan Dale was able to snag the ball and while Medrano raced home, Mariscal sprinted to beat out the throw. Dale's throw took Pinkston off the bag just enough to allow a dramatic ending to the longest game of the 2014 season.
In the 92-game history between Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton, Wednesday's game was the longest game by innings the two programs played in the 47-year span.
Schlichtholz (1-0) earned his first Division I win in three innings of relief without allowing a hit.
Fresno State (21-21) will close out its five-game homestand with a Friday-Sunday series against Air Force this weekend. All veterans and active military will receive free admission throughout the three-game series vs. Air Force as part of the Fresno State Salute to Services weekend.
"Catch the Wave" - 2014 Fresno State baseball season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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