Feb. 19, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. - The magic that surrounds Fresno State baseball was in the air opening night at Pete Beiden Field as Jordan Ribera hit a walk-off home run lifting the Bulldogs past Nebraska in front of 3,280 screaming fans. The `Dogs are off to a 1-0 start.
Dating back to last season, in three of the last five games, Ribera has hit game-winning home runs. He did it twice in the 2009 WAC Tournament against New Mexico State.
The `Dogs pitching staff combined for seven strikeouts on the night.
The Bulldogs threatened early as Muno doubled in the first inning. He got the first hit of the season for the `Dogs. Preseason All-WAC selection Dusty Robinson followed with a walk and Gowens also walked to load the bases, but the Huskers got out of the jam without the Bulldogs scoring.
In the top of the second inning, Fresno State got into a bases loaded jam that led to Nebraska scoring four runs and taking the lead, 4-0. The Bulldogs ended the inning with Preseason All-WAC catcher Trent Garrison catching a runner attempting to steal second base.
The `Dogs answered in the bottom of the second inning with a two-run home run from Coyle cutting the Huskers lead, 4-2.
Preseason Pitcher of the Year Derek Benny earned his first start of the season opening night. The last game Benny pitched in was against UC Irvine in the 2009 NCAA Regional. In the fourth inning he sat the Husker batters down 1-2-3. He finished the night with four strikeouts in five innings pitched.
Defensively, Trent Garrison had a great night after catching two base runners attempting to steal extra bases.
Muno hit a stand up double in the bottom of the fifth inning and Robinson hit an RBI single to bring Muno home cutting Nebraska's lead to 4-3.
Zac Bischoff came in relief in the sixth inning. He struck out two of five batters faced.
The Bulldogs came close to tying the game when Jordan Ribera led off the bottom of the sixth inning by getting walked. Gaspar hit a sacrifice bunt moving Ribera to second base. Garrison got out on a fielder's choice advancing Ribera to third base, but Nebraska got the third out in time to save their 4-3 lead.
Sophomore Cody Kendall hit the mound in the seventh inning and sat down the Husker batters in order.
Fresno State threatened to take the lead again in the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Huskers saved their 4-3 lead.
Nebraska extended their lead 5-3 in the top of the ninth inning.
The Bulldogs rally in the ninth inning began with a walk from Garrett Weber. Muno walked bringing the go ahead run at the plate. The runners advanced on a wild pitch putting the tying runs in scoring position. Gowens hit a double to allowing Muno and Weber to score tying the ball game at five runs apiece.
Ribera hit a two-run home run over the right field wall giving the Bulldogs the win, 7-5. Sophomore Taylor Garrison closed on the mound for the `Dogs and earned the win.
" We Are Your Team!" The `Dogs continue the series against the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2:05 p.m. Season tickets are available and can be purchased through the Bulldog Ticket Office, gobulldogs.com or by calling 278-DOGS.
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