May 24, 2008
RUSTON, La. - The Fresno State baseball team is one win away from winning its third straight WAC tournament title. On Saturday, the Bulldog defeated Hawai'i 11-4 to advance to the championship game of the WAC tournament. The win also keeps Fresno State (36-27) with an unblemished 11-0 record in the WAC tournament since 2006.
"It's huge getting this third win," Fresno State second baseman Erik Wetzel said. "If we didn't get this we would have to win three games in a row to win the championship. Now we only have to win one. This saves our arms and keeps us fresh."
Jason Breckley improved his record to 2-2 as he pitched the final four innings where he allowed three hits, one run, one walk, while striking out two. Justin Miller went the first five innings where he gave up four hits and three runs. The Bulldogs did not commit an error in the field.
"I came in and just tried to throw strikes and let the defense work behind me," Breckley said.
Fresno State had 14 hits as a team led by Alan Ahmady's three for four day that included two homeruns and four RBIs. Wetzel was two for three with a homerun and three RBIs while Steve Susdorf went two for three with two runs batted in.
Steve Detwiler also had two hits, two RBIs and threw a runner out at homeplate from right field to end the Rainbow's three run sixth inning.
"There were a lot of big plays today," Fresno State coach Mike Batesole said. "That is the way it has to be in these big games. We played outstanding defense from start to finish. I am proud of the way we went about our business."
After three scoreless innings, Wetzel put the Bulldogs on top 1-0 with a solo homerun. The Rainbows answered back with three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead.
The Dogs then countered Hawaii's three runs with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to take an 8-3 lead.
The inning started with consecutive walks by Danny Muno and Gavin Hedstrom. Wetzel then had a two RBI double to left-center that allowed Hedstrom and Muno to score. Susdorf followed with an RBI single to right field that allowed Wetzel to score and give the Dogs a 4-3 lead.
Still with no outs, Ahmady hit his first of two homeruns on a two-run shot over the centerfield fence. With one out, Ryan Overland reached on an infield single and Detwiler followed with a two-run bomb over the left field fence to give Fresno State the 8-3 lead.
"We were taking good at bats against (Matt) Daly," Wetzel said. "He was throwing more balls and we were able to catch up to him. I think the key was those first two walks of the inning. That was what got the inning going."
The Bulldogs added three more runs in the seventh, thanks a two-run homerun by Ahmady and an RBI single by Susdorf.
The Bulldogs will play Nevada, Sacramento State or Hawai'i in Sunday's championship. Sacramento State and Nevada plays at 1 p.m. (Pacific Time) in an elimination game. The winner of that game plays Hawai'i at 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) for the right to play the Bulldogs in the title game.
"Join the State - Fresno State"The Bulldogs play on Sunday at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) for the WAC tournament championship and the game can be heard live on 580 KMJ.
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