March 1, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
FRESNO, Calif.- A one-two punch of superb pitching in game one of Saturday's doubleheader followed by timely offense in game two led the Fresno State baseball team to a two-game sweep of No. 18 Texas A&M at Beiden Field. Fresno State was victorious 5-0 in game one, and 6-5 in the second of the doubleheader.
Fresno State (8-2) was led by starting pitcher Jordan Brink as he started the winning momentum in the first game of the doubleheader. The junior ace pitched 7.0 innings, allowing just one hit, along with five strikeouts against three walks. Junior Derick Velazquez pitched the remaining two, allowing just one hit as well. The Aggies owned a team batting average of .299 entering Saturday's contest and averaged 9.5 hits per game over that span.
Brink (2-0) owns a team-best ERA (min. 9 IP) with a 0.42 ERA after Saturday's showing. The hometown Fresno native has logged 21.2 innings of work over three games and allowed just six hits. Two of the three starts have been one-hitters.
The 'Dogs leadoff batter reached base in each of the first five innings in game one, and pieced it together in the fourth frame with two runs and three more in the fifth.
In the fourth, Trent Woodward reached on a ball hit sharply to left field that Aggie right fielder Nick Banks could not haul in. Woodward would advance to second on a wild pitch and RBI team leader Taylor Ward knocked home Woodward from second to score the game's first run. Jesse Medrano registered his first career RBI to drive home Ward for the second run in the fourth.
Fresno State added three more in the fifth with the aid of two leadoff hit by pitches and two wild pitches. Chris Mariscal and Taylor Tempel reached on back-to-back HBP. With the third at bat, Jordan Luplow smacked a double to the left field wall to score Mariscal from second. With Woodward at the plate, Tempel and Luplow both reached home on wild pitches during the at bat.
Daniel Mengden (1-2) suffered the loss. He allowed five runs on seven hits, one walk, three wild pitches and two hit batters over 7.0 innings of work.
Ward led the 'Dogs going 2-for-4 with one run and an RBI.
Following a 30 minute intermission, Fresno State freshman Jimmy Lambert picked up his third career start for the second game of the doubleheader. The start came against Texas A&M senior Parker Ray. Lambert has dueled against two seniors and one junior in his three starts to begin his collegiate career.
Lambert worked 5.1 innings and allowed two runs in the second and three more in the sixth. Despite a tough outing, the Bulldogs offense picked up the pitching staff in game two, responding with runs of their own in each of the two innings that the Aggies scored.
In the second Viers' leadoff double led to one run following the Aggies two runs in the top half. Viers scored on a sacrifice fly by Medrano, who picked up his second career RBI, after recording his first in game one.
What would decide the second game though would be the five consecutive singles by the Bulldogs in the sixth inning that led to their five run, six hit inning. The first four to reach on singles - Mariscal, Jake Stone, Luplow and Woodward - would all plate a run. The Aggies first out came when Ward grounded into a double play, but it was a productive out as Luplow scored from third on the play to bring the 'Dogs within one, 5-4.
Against two outs, on the next at bat, Brody Russell tied the game with a RBI single, scoring Woodward. An untimely error ultimately decided the game for the Aggies, Johnathan Moroney misfielded a shot Medrano hit to left field, allowing the ball to skim off his glove and roll past him, Russell rounded the bases to plate the deciding sixth run of the game.
After junior Garrett Mundell worked 1.2 innings, retiring the last out in the sixth and working through the seventh unscathed, he ran into some trouble in the eighth. Texas A&M opened the inning with a leadoff double and a single to put runners on first and third with no outs.
Jake Shull entered with the two runners on board and worked out of the inning with some masterful pitching and heady defensive by Mariscal. The tying run at third was put out by Mariscal for the first out as a hoping grounder went his way and he fired home to eliminate the run. Shull induced back-to-back fly outs and the threat was over.
Shull recorded his third save of the season. Garrett Mundell (2-0) picked up the win, while Tyler Stubblefield (1-1) took the loss.
Fresno State owns a three-game win streak versus ranked opponents at Beiden Field dating back to its 9-8 win over No. 16 New Mexico in the series finale on Sunday, May 12, 2013
Fresno State and No. 18 Texas A&M close the series with a 12:05 p.m. first pitch on Sunday afternoon.
"Catch the Wave" - 2014 Fresno State baseball season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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