May 3, 2013
LAS VEGAS --- The Bulldogs got another quality start from freshman Blake Quinn and grabbed an early lead, but the Fresno State baseball team ended up being dealt a tough 4-1 loss to the UNLV Rebels on Friday night at Wilson Stadium.
Fresno State (15-28, 9-13 Mountain West) had taken a 1-0 lead on UNLV (29-16, 12-10 MW) in the top of the fourth when Bulldogs' junior Aaron Judge ripped a one-out double to the left field corner, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on senior Trent Garrison's two-out RBI single.
But it was two key errors in the bottom of the sixth by the Bulldogs' defense that proved costly and helped the Rebels score four times in the frame.
Including Quinn's gutsy effort that saw the freshman strike out two and frustrate the Rebels for most of his outing, Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole credited all four of the freshmen pitchers (Quinn, Jake Shull, Connor Chase and Luke Wiechec) that appeared in the game for stepping up to the task and their progress this season.
"Those four freshmen who pitched today - all four of them were outstanding," Batesole said. "We took some good at-bats off a tough pitcher who beat us. We had four freshmen pitchers under tough circumstances and pitched very, very well. And that part we have to keep moving forward. That's the light at the end of the tunnel."
UNLV's right-hander starter Erick Fedde (5-2) tossed 140 pitches over eight strong innings for the Rebels. He fanned eight batters, scattered four hits and allowed just the one run in the fourth. Closer Brady Zuniga got the final three outs for his third save of the season.
"He had an outstanding fastball today," Batesole said of Fedde. "He was very smart. We tried to break up his rhythm, but give him credit for battling through it."
At the plate, the Bulldogs managed just those four hits with two off the bat of Garrison, who finished 2-for-3 with the RBI.
The loss dropped the 'Dogs into fifth place in the Mountain West standings as Nevada defeated San Diego State 7-1 to move the Wolf Pack into sole possession of fourth. UNLV is also now tied with SDSU for second at 12-10 in league play - both six games back of MW-leader New Mexico, who beat Air Force 11-10 earlier Friday.
The top two teams in conference action earn first-round byes in the 2013 MW Tournament that will be hosted by Fresno State May 22-26 at Pete Beiden Field.
Fresno State and UNLV will return to the field for game two of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. PT. The game can be heard live on ESPN 940 AM.
"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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