May 4, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - The 2008 WAC baseball championship will go through the Bulldogs.
After a Saturday that the Bulldogs would like to forget, Fresno State bounced back for a 6-4 win over New Mexico State on Sunday to close out a four-game series at Pete Beiden Field.
With 1,674 fans in attendance, Fresno State pounded out eight hits and used excellent pitching to beat the Aggies and gain a split in the series.
The Aggies swept the Bulldogs in a double-header on Saturday that didn't sit well with head coach Mike Batesole. After dropping two at home, the teams chasing the Dogs had some hopes to unseat the two-time defending league champions. Fresno State responded like a championship caliber team Sunday and Batesole was pleased with his squad and the win, which kept the Dogs in first place in the WAC with two weeks and eight games remaining. Fresno State is 28-23 overall and 16-8 in the WAC, ahead of second place Nevada (26-19, 14-9).
The Aggies opened the game scoring with an unearned run in the top of the second inning.
It was the eighth homerun of the season for Susdorf, and fourth of the series. It gives him 34 homeruns for his career and sole possession of fourth place in the Bulldog career record books. He needs two more to catch Beau Mills for third place.
Susdorf has 192 RBIs for his career, second place in the Fresno State record books. He needs nine to become the all-time record holder passing former Bulldog great Todd Johnson, who had 200 in his career.
Susdorf blistered the Aggies in the four-game series, hitting .438 with seven hits, four homeruns, nine RBIs and he stole two bases.
After an Aggie run in the top of the fifth inning, the Dogs regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning with two more runs. Tommy Mendonca was hit by pitcher Dillon Smith to start the inning. Steve Detwiler laid down a perfect bunt for a single that was thrown away by third baseman Marcos Quade, allowing Mendonca to reach third base and put Detwiler on second. Catcher Ryan Overland had a sacrifice bunt that scored Mendonca and advanced Detwiler to third base.
Designated hitter Justin Wilson then hit a sacrifice fly to center field for his first RBI of the season to bring Detwiler home. Fresno State led 4-2.
Wilson, a pitcher from Clovis, Calif., was batting for the first time since the 2006 season. That year he hit .412 and had five RBIs in 18 games. He added a single in the seventh inning.
The Dogs added another run in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. Hedstrom led the inning with a double and moved to third when Susdorf flied out to center field. First baseman Alan Ahmady drove him in with a single for his 60th RBI of the season.
The Aggies added two runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull to within one run at 5-4.
Hedstrom added an RBI in the eighth inning when he singled in shortstop Danny Muno, who opened the stanza with a single and stolen second base. That gave the Dogs a 6-4 lead.
All-America candidate Tanner Scheppers continued to put up amazing numbers on the mound. In front of nearly a dozen scouts from various Major League teams, the hard-throwing right handed pitcher showcased his arm recording 10 strikeouts and regularly clocking speeds in the mid-90's on the Beiden Field radar gun. In 6.2 innings, he allowed four runs - only two of them earned - and just three hits.
Holden Sprague came in relief of Scheppers in the seventh inning and earned his sixth save of the year. Sprague allowed just two hits and struck out two Aggies in two and a third innings of work.
Scheppers entered the week ranked No. 2 in the NCAA in strikeouts and continues to lead the WAC in ERA, strikeouts and victories. He increased his season strikeout total to 109.
Head coach Mike Batesole earned his 200th victory as the Fresno State head coach.
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday night at No. 21 Long Beach State. Fresno State defeated the Dirt Bags, who at the time were ranked No. 9 in the nation, back on April 1 at Beiden Field. After that, the Dogs wrap-up of the home portion of the 2008 schedule next weekend hosting age-old rival San Jose State for a four-game series.
The first game of the San Jose State series is Friday, May 9, at 6:05 p.m.
Fresno State will honor its seven seniors on Sunday, May 11, at 1:05 p.m. in their final home game.
Join the State - Fresno State! The WAC-leading Bulldogs wrap-up the 2008 home season with a four-game series against arch-rival San Jose State May 9-11 at Pete Beiden Field. For ticket information, click the tickets icon at the top of this page.
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|