May 3, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a complete game from top to bottom offensively and defensively, Fresno State defeated San Jose State 8-0 on Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. Starter Jordan Brink pitched a scoreless four-hit game over 7.2 innings while teammate Jordan Luplow went 4-for-5 from the dish to even the series vs. the Spartans.
"Getting road league wins is huge," said head coach Mike Batesole. "I thought we played good defense and Brink did a good job to keep us right in there. He made great pitches when he had to, and Luplow got big hits early for us."
Just as he did in Friday night's game, Luplow connected for a two-out stand-up double in the first inning. Unlike Friday's game, Taylor Ward registered an RBI single to score Luplow on the next at bat to put the Bulldogs in the lead 1-0 early.
San Jose State was on the cusp of answering the Bulldogs the same way they did in game one, countering the game's first run with an answer the very next frame on Saturday. Brink walked the first two batters to open the home half, and following a fly out for the first out, the Spartans had runners on the corners and were threatening to take the lead away. Brink held the runners at bay with a strikeout for out number two, and then induced a fly out to end the bottom of the first after coach Batesole took a mound visit, holding the Spartans off the scoreboard.
"Rarely does the biggest play in the game happen in the eighth or ninth inning," Batesole said. "I thought that was an important time in the game, plus Jordan had pitched more than we wanted him to in the first and I thought a brief breather might help him there."
Brink (3-2) did not allow the Spartans their first hit until the third inning and would not allow a runner past second base again until the sixth. Brink struck out three and walked four in his 11th start of the season.
"Our guys were swinging it well from top to bottom and I stuck to coach [Steve] Rousey's (pitching coach) game plan," said Brink. "It was nice to bounce back from a tough loss."
The Bulldog bats out-hit SJSU 16-4 in Saturday's win. It was the offense's second game in the last four to reach the 16-hit plateau. Eight different Bulldogs collected a hit; six of them went for more than one, while Luplow led the team with four.
Luplow registered his eighth home run of the season in the third inning to score Brody Russell, who doubled on the previous at-bat. In the fourth, Fresno State scored two more, aided by a fielding error that should have ended the inning. The Bulldogs took advantage and scored both runs after the error as Russell delivered a two-run RBI single. Luplow followed Russell's at-bat with a single, making him 3-for-3 and a triple short of a cycle though the first four innings.
Joe Prior helped the 'Dogs onto the score column for the third straight inning in the fifth. In the freshman's second career start he smacked a 2-2 offering into right field for his first career triple and added his third career RBI to his resume as he scored Manny Argomaniz from first. Prior went on to score on a wild pitch on the next at bat that put Fresno State ahead 7-0 after the first five innings.
Jake Alvarez led off the eighth with a single, Luplow drove home the run with his second double of the game and 20th of the season.
Over the last six games Luplow is hitting .680 (17-25) and has increased his season batting average to .395, best in the Mountain West. Through 26 MW games, he owns a .480 batting average, also a league-high.
Jimmy Lambert pitched the final 1.1 innings of the game. He recorded a strikeout to end the eighth and preserve Brink's clean sheet, then went on to retire the side in order in the ninth.
The series finale is set for 1 p.m. to decide the winner of the series. The rubber match will feature Bulldogs' RHP Derick Velazquez (3-4, 4.00 ERA) against the Spartans LHP Johnny Melero (2-6, 5.65 ERA).
"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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