March 25, 2013
SACRAMENTO --- In a rematch of last season's conference championship game, the Fresno State baseball team will play the Sacramento State Hornets on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. PT on the diamond of Raley Field - the home of the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.
Fresno State won four of its six matchups with Sacramento State a season ago, when the two schools were both in the Western Athletic Conference, including an epic 4-3 thrilling victory in 13 innings to capture the 2013 WAC Tournament crown at HoHokam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona.
With its season the line, the fifth-seeded Bulldogs fought off two elimination games in beating LA Tech and Sac State to earn their spot in a winner-take-all championship game against the second-seeded Hornets.
Fresno State dug itself out of a 2-0 hole heading into the bottom of the seventh inning by scoring three runs in the frame, but allowed Sacramento State to force the marathon battle with a run in the eighth.
Neither team scored until then-freshman outfielder Jordan Luplow drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 13th with a RBI single to right field. The win propelled the 'Dogs to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in the past seven seasons and secured their seventh consecutive conference title.
Luplow, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, had a monster week in Mesa in going .417 at the plate with 10 hits, 10 RBI, two doubles, a triple and a stolen base to help lead the Bulldogs to a 5-1 record in six games played over five days.
Then-junior catcher Austin Wynns, who caught every inning for Fresno State during its title run, erupted for a .524 clip at the plate and a tournament-best six doubles to also earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
This season, the Bulldogs (4-16) are looking to find their groove and prepare for its first Mountain West Tournament, which will be hosted May 22-26 in Fresno at Beiden Field, while Sacramento State (13-10) figures to be a serious WAC championship contender.
Preseason All-American Aaron Judge leads the 'Dogs with his .304 batting average and four home runs through the first 20 games of the season. The speedy 6-8 junior outfielder has also posted five doubles, a triple and stolen base.
After Tuesday night's meeting with Sacramento State, Fresno State will continue MW play in Reno for a key three-game series with the Wolf Pack from Thursday through Saturday.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" --- The flagship radio station of Fresno State baseball is 940 AM ESPN radio. The next radio broadcast is scheduled for March 28 when the Bulldogs visit Nevada. Follow @FSAthletics on Twitter for live in-game updates of all games during the season.
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