May 4, 2013
LAS VEGAS ---There were few bright spots for the Fresno State baseball team on Saturday afternoon as the Bulldogs lost 9-2 to the UNLV Rebels at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
Fresno State's pitching staff issued 11 walks, hit a batter and gave up 11 hits as the Bulldogs also couldn't take advantage of UNLV leaving 11 runners on base in the second of a three-game Mountain West series.
It was the Rebels, however, that struck early and often - scoring three runs in the second and once in the third for a 4-0 lead.
The Bulldogs countered with a run in the sixth when Judge scored on Jordan Luplow's RBI double, following the triple. UNLV responded with two in the bottom of the frame for a 6-1 lead.
But the Rebels pounced for three of their own in the seventh to build the 9-2 advantage and closer Brady Zuniga earned his fourth save for 2.1 innings of relief - entering in the seventh with the tying run on deck and getting Judge to strike out. UNLV's Buddy Borden improved to 6-1 on the season in throwing 6.2 innings and allowing just the two runs on eight hits.
Fresno State starter Jordan Brink (3-2) lasted just 1.2 innings and was charged with five of the 12 free passes, three earned runs and four hits. All seven of the Bulldog pitchers that appeared threw two or fewer innings with the strongest showing by sophomore Garrett Mundell, who delivered two scoreless frames.
The loss keeps Fresno State (15-29, 9-14 Mountain West) in fifth place in the conference standings - a game back of Nevada for fourth and now four games back of both San Diego State and UNLV (30-16, 13-10 MW) for second. SDSU defeated Nevada 4-3 in 10 innings on Sunday in Reno.
New Mexico, the conference's leader ranked No. 17 in the nation by Baseball America, can clinch at least a share of the regular season MW title on Sunday with a win over Air Force or losses by both SDSU and UNLV. UNM can also clinch the outright league crown and the No. 1 seed for the MW Tournament, which will be hosted May 22-26 by Fresno State at Pete Beiden Field, with a win over the Falcons along with a SDSU as New Mexico owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rebels.
Fresno State and UNLV will wrap up the weekend series on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT. The game can be heard live on ESPN Radio 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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