May 8, 2005
Fresno, Calif. - Top defensive plays and some clutch hitting from Nick Moresi and Brian Lapin helped the Bulldogs take their third game in a row from San Jose State 7-6 on Mother's Day. Brandon Miller pitched three hitless innings of relief for the 'Dogs, one of five relief pitchers for Fresno State who held the Spartans to one run over six innings. Rudy Quinonez picked up the save, holding on to a one-run lead for 1.2 innings.
Starting out in an early hole wasn't the way Fresno State planned on starting the game, but two singles and a double from Nate Corick gave the Spartans two runs in the first inning to spot San Jose State the lead. The Bulldogs responded in the next two innings though, scoring a run in the first after singles from Christian Vitters, Nick Moresi and Beau Mills. The 'Dogs would add two more in the second, when they capitalized on an error from San Jose State shortstop Anthony Contreras to create a 3-2 lead.
San Jose State came on in the next two innings however. The Spartans added three runs in the third inning, using an overthrow from catcher Ryan Overland to get back in the lead. Brandon Burke pitched the fourth inning for the Bulldogs, but hit the leadoff batter, who scored after a sacrifice and a single from Contreras to make the score 6-3.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Bulldogs made a rally of their own. It started off very meekly as Ryan Overland appeared to ground out to first base, but was safe when the pitcher never touched the bag and Overland ran out the play. Todd Sandell and Kent Sakamoto both drew walks to load the bases, and Nick Moresi had a clutch hit, doubling to center to clear the bases and tie the game at six.
Brandon Miller then entered the game for Fresno State, and put the clamps on the San Jose State bats that had been so hot. Miller pitched 3.0 innings, walking one batter and giving up no hits or runs. The team rewarded Miller for that performance by scoring in the bottom of the second, pushing the leadoff batter to second. Brian Lapin then doubled to bring home Susdorf, who would end up being the winning run and giving Miller the win.
The game was still clearly in doubt in the eighth inning, when the Spartans threatened to break the game open, when they started the frame with back-to-back singles off of Penn. Penn got put it together, and pitched around a bunt attempt from Justin Santich-Hughes to catch him looking for the first out. The trouble continued when pinch-hitter Ricky Sauceda blooped a single over a diving Todd Sandell to load the bases with one out. Rudy Quinonez came in and got Chris Williammee to ground into the inning-ending double play, holding onto the 7-6 lead.
Quinonez would also pitch the ninth, allowing one hit but getting the required outs to record his fourth save of the season. San Jose State's Matt Winck took the loss.
This win combined with other WAC action moves Fresno State into a tie for second place at 11-10, two games behind WAC-leader Rice. The Bulldogs have a chance to break the tie this following week, as the team travels to Hawai'i to face the Rainbows, who also have a 11-10 conference record. The first game of that series is on Thursday, and begins at 9:30 Pacific time.
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