May 29, 2011
MESA, Ariz. - The winning legacy continues for Fresno State in 2011. The Bulldogs won their fifth Western Athletic Conference Tournament Title and NCAA automatic berth in the past six years.
The Dogs defeated Hawai'i 15-4 in the championship game Saturday night improving their tournament record to 22-3 since 2006.
"It was a great answer back for us after last year," said head coach Mike Batesole. "There was a lot of answering back going on today and that's a powerful tool when used correctly. We really played beautiful for three games. After 16 years, I don't think I have had a team that I have enjoyed more from start to finish than this team"
Fresno State went undefeated in the 2011 tournament after going 3-0 and outscored its opponents 39-10. The Dogs twice beat an opponent by 10 or more runs and tallied a total of 47 hits in three games. The Bulldogs have an overall mark of 40-14 in 2011.
The Bulldogs will learn their fate in the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Monday, May 30 at 9:30 a.m. PT.
WAC Player of the Year Dusty Robinson jumped started the Bulldog offense with an RBI triple to right center field. First baseman Jordan Ribera drove in another run as he grounded out to second base and the Dogs took the lead 2-0.
"We are really proud of how we came out and played from to start to finish," said Tournament MVP Robinson. "We were tuned in 24/7 to the game and everything clicked from the pitching, good defense and the offense stroking the ball. We are a tough team to beat when we stick to our plan."
Second baseman Pat Hutcheson singled to center field in the second inning driving in a Bulldog run as the Dogs lead extended to 3-0. Senior Danny Muno hit a ground-rule double moving Hutcheson to third base. Muno has 69 career doubles and is one away from tying the Fresno State record of 70 set by Stephen Susdorf.
Hawai'i got on the board in the second inning scoring two runs on a single through the left side. The Rainbows cut the Bulldogs lead 3-2 after a two-out rally. In the third inning, the Bows evened the score 3-3 after scoring a run on a throwing error.
Starter Tyler Linehan struck out the side in the third inning. The freshman struck out a total of five Rainbow batters and has a total of 42 strikeouts on the year. Linehan allowed three runs and eight hits as he picked up his fifth win of the year.
The Bulldogs took back the lead in the fourth inning with a three run two-out rally. Muno led the charge with an RBI single to right field. Center fielder Brennan Gowens continued the rally driving in two more runs with a single and Fresno State headed to the bottom half of the inning with the lead 6-3.
Senior Garrett Weber and Kenny Wise drew back-to-back walks to lead off the fifth inning. The runners advanced to second and third base on a passed ball. First-team All-WAC catcher Austin Wynns drove in two runs with a single to right field increasing Fresno State's lead 8-3.
Muno kept the fifth inning alive with a single that allowed Wynns to score. Jordan Ribera cleared the bases with a double to right center field as the Dogs lead extended to 12-3 over Hawai'i.
In the sixth inning, Fresno State added three more runs increasing the lead over Hawai'i to 15-3.
The Rainbows scored a run in the eighth inning as the Dogs continued to lead 15-4. Fresno State won the WAC Title after defeating Hawai'i 15-4 on Saturday night.
Robinson was named the 2011 WAC Tournament Most Valuable Player and joining him on the All-Tournament team was Wynns, Judge, Gowens and Greg Gonzalez.
"We Are You Team!" - Fresno State won the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament title in Mesa, Ariz. and move on to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Regionals start June 3 and the selection show is May 30 at 9:30 a.m. You can always stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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