By Stephen Trembley
By Stephen Trembley
MESA, Ariz. --- The Fresno State baseball team sliced and diced its way to an 8-2 opening round victory over the fourth-seeded Hawai'i Rainbows on Wednesday afternoon at HoHoKam Stadium.
The Bulldogs' Aaron Judge, a sophomore outfielder and two-time first-team All-WAC selection, erupted at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a RBI triple, two doubles, a single and scored the game-tying run in the fourth to spark Fresno State to an eight-run stretch in which the 'Dogs built an 8-1 lead.
Fresno State took the lead in the fifth frame when senior second baseman Patrick Hutcheson's fifth home run of the season cleared the right field fence to push the Bulldogs in front 2-1 and turned to cruise control after scoring six times in the sixth.
Senior pitcher and second-team All-WAC honoree Thomas Harlan pitched 6.1 innings of solid work in striking out five and scattering eight hits. Freshman William Munro relieved Harlan in the seventh and tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless ball to finish off the win. Neither Harlan or Munro allowed a walk.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 23-3 in WAC Tournament games since 2006.
Seven of the nine Bulldogs in the starting line-up logged at least one hit with Judge (4), Hutcheson (2) and catcher Austin Wynns (2) posting multi-hit games.
The eight runs were each scored by different Bulldogs and the five doubles by Fresno State players tied a season-high.
Fresno State (26-25) will return to HoHoKam Stadium in the winner's bracket on Thursday to face top-seeded New Mexico State (35-20) at 7 p.m.
"Getting in the winner's bracket is huge," Fresno State head baseball coach Mike Batesole said. "We had a couple of seniors who had outstanding days. We've been playing our best baseball for the past month and that's what you want to be doing come playoff time."
All of the Bulldogs' postseason contests will be broadcast live on AM 940 KYNO.
2012 WAC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT (Mesa, Ariz.)
Wednesday, May 23
GAME 1: No. 5 Fresno State 8, No. 4 Hawai'i 2
GAME 2: No. 3 Nevada 4, No. 6 Louisiana Tech 3
Thursday, May 24
GAME 3: No. 4 Hawai'i vs. No. 6 Louisiana Tech (11 a.m. PT) - Elimination Game
GAME 4: No. 3 Nevada vs. No. 2 Sacramento State (3 p.m. PT)
GAME 5: No. 5 Fresno State vs. No. 1 New Mexico State (7 p.m. PT)
Friday, May 25
GAME 6: Lowest Seed - Game 4 & 5 Loser vs. Game 3 Winner* (11 a.m. PT)
GAME 7: Highest Seed - Game 4 & 5 Loser vs. Game 6 Winner (3 p.m. PT)
GAME 8: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner (7 p.m. PT)
Saturday, May 26
GAME 9: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser (3 p.m. PT)
GAME 10: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner (7 p.m. PT) -- (WAC Championship If Game 8 Winner Wins Game 10)
Sunday, May 27 (If Necessary)
GAME 11: WAC Championship (Noon PT) -- (Winner Receives Automatic Bid to NCAA Tournament)
* = Exception: if one of Games 4 or 5 losers already has had a bye, that team will play in Game 6 regardless of seed.
Lowest seed to advance from games four and five will play in game six (e.g., low is 6 seed).
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" - AM 940 KYNO is the flagship radio station for Bulldog Baseball.
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|