May 24, 2009
HONOLULU - The Fresno State baseball team survived four elimination games to win their fourth straight WAC Tournament Title and advance to the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs beat New Mexico State, 5-3, to earn the WAC Title.
"Somewhere down the line they learned how to win and that was the difference today," head coach Mike Batesole said. "They got into some tough situations and we knew how to handle it. I was very proud of the way they kept their cool, kept their composure, and when we got in deep we made pitches and plays to get us out."
Sophomore Jordan Ribera hit the game winning home runs in both games Sunday evening lifting the Bulldogs to the fourth tournament title and was named the WAC Tournament MVP. Ribera went 4-for-8 in the final two games of the WAC Tournament.
"To see him (Ribera) get it done in the clutch and it being the biggest at bat of the year, it couldn't have happened to a better kid," said Batesole.
This tournament win marks the fourth tournament title that the three seniors have won in their four year careers.
Zac Bischoff got his first start of the 2009 season and sat down the first four batters he faced.
The Bulldogs got out of a bases loaded jam by retiring the second inning with the 54th double play of the season.
In the second inning designated hitter Kenny Wise singled through the right side. Senior Gavin Hedstrom hit a sacrifice bunt to move Wise to second base. Catcher Trent Garrison singled to left field allowing Wise to cross home plate giving the Bulldogs the lead, 1-0.
The Aggies answered in the third inning scoring a run tying the game, 1-1.
Bischoff sat the Aggie batters down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth inning and struck out two them.
In the sixth inning, junior Tom Mendonca reached base after getting hit by a pitch. First baseman Jordan Ribera reached on a fielder's choice as Mendonca was tagged out at second base. Right Fielder Brennan Gowens walked moving Ribera to second base. Wise doubled to right center field bringing the runners and taking the lead, 3-1.
Gene Escat came out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs and threw a scoreless inning against the Aggies.
New Mexico State scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game, 3-3.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, First Team All-WAC second baseman Danny Muno singled up the middle. Freshman Dusty Robinson reached on a fielder's choice as Muno was tagged out at second base. Ribera hit a two-run home run over the center field wall to give the `Dogs the lead, 5-3.
Junior Matt Morse picked up his fourth win of the season in the, 5-3, victory over New Mexico State.
"We don't care where we end up," said Batesole. "We will show up ready to play."
Tune in Monday morning at 9:30 am on ESPN for the selection show and to see who the Bulldogs will face in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
2009 All-Tournament Team
C - Kevin Fujii, Hawai`i
1B - Mike Sodders, New Mexico State
2B - Danny Muno, Fresno State
SS - Kyle Bellows, San Jose State
3B - Tom Mendonca, Fresno State
OF - Devon Dageford, Louisiana Tech
OF - Richard Stout, New Mexico State
OF - Gavin Hedstrom, Fresno State
DH - Jordan Ribera, Fresno State
P - Derek Benny, Fresno State
P - DJ Simon, New Mexico State
MVP - Jordan Ribera, Fresno State
"Join the State -- Fresno State!" Log on to gobulldogs.com to find out more information about who the Bulldogs will face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
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