Baseball Preview: at New Mexico [April 11-13]

April 10, 2014

By: Matt Burkholder

Game 34-36: Fresno State Bulldogs (18-15, 7-8 MW) at New Mexico Lobos (24-11-1, 8-4 MW)

Fresno State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

New Mexico Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

First Pitch: April 11-13 - Fri: 5 p.m. PT, Sat: 1 p.m. PT, Sun: 11 a.m. PT
Stadium: Lobo Field
Surface: Field Turf
Dimensions: 350 (LF), 420 (CF), 350 (RF)
All-Time Series: New Mexico leads 13-11
Last Meeting: UNM defeated FS, 6-4 (2014)

Radio: AM 940 ESPN
Play-by-play: Paul Loeffler
Video: Mountain West Network
Live Stats:
Twitter: @FresnoStateBSB

Bulldog Headlines
• Fresno State visits New Mexico for its second three-game series vs. the Lobos, April 11-13. UNM traveled to Fresno March 14-16. The Lobos won all three games.
• Projected pitching matchups -
    Friday, RHP Jordan Brink (2-2, 1.84 ERA) vs. RHP Jonathan Cuellar (3-1, 2.17 ERA)
    Saturday, RHP Derick Velazquez (2-3, 2.48 ERA) vs. LHP Colton Thompson (3-4, 3.83 ERA)
    Sunday, RHP Tim Borst (2-1, 2.83 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Walker (4-2, 3.55 ERA)
Tim Borst is the reigning MW co-Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete game shutout vs UNLV
• Velazquez earns his second start of 2014 after leading team in starts in 2013
• Perfect Game named Jordan Brink the No. 30 prospect on its midseason list (April 2)
• Fresno State has fell to UNM in eight of nine games since joining the Mountain West
• Head Coach Mike Batesole earned his 400th career victory at Fresno State on Saturday April 5 vs. UNLV. He is the third coach to reach 400 in school history.

Fresno State vs. New Mexico - The Series
Since Fresno State joined the Mountain West (2013), the Lobos have had the Bulldogs number. Out of nine meetings, six last year and three this season, the 'Dogs have one win. Earlier this season, March 14-16, UNM swept the Bulldogs in Fresno and with the sweep the Lobos overtook the all-time series advantage 13-11. Outside of the nine conference games played, the two squared off just four other times this century. New Mexico traveled to Fresno in 2012, a series the Lobos won (2-1) and in 2001, UNM visited Fresno for the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic, a game the Bulldogs won 9-3. A historical note about this match up, on April 1, 1999 these two teams combined for an NCAA record 68 hits, a record that has held up over the past 14 seasons. Fresno State lost the slugfest 27-26 in Albuquerque.

Scouting New Mexico
The Lobos are led by seventh-year head coach Ray Birmingham. The skipper has led New Mexico to four-straight NCAA regional appearances, a first for UNM since 1962. He is coaching his 27th career season; the coach spent 18 years at New Mexico JC before joining the Lobos in 2008. In his last season at New Mexico JC, the Thunderbirds were national runners-up and two years prior, his club won the NJCAA National Championship in 2005.

Senior pitcher Josh Walker, a 2014 preseason All-American, owns a career mark of 23-6 (.786) and for his senior year, Walker is 4-2 and leads the team in innings pitched. He has issued just four walks in 58.1 innings of work and went 39.2 innings before allowing his first walk of the season. Offensively, the Lobos are hitting a MW-best .309 as a team and have eight players who have been to the dish at least 90 times that are averaging better than .300. Senior Chase Harris leads the MW in hits (59), RBIs (41), and total bases (85).

Last Time Out
The Fresno State offense exploded for six runs in the first inning against Cal State Northridge and never looked back as they cruised to an 8-2 win Tuesday night at Beiden Field. The midweek lineup featured a shuffled cast that had Trent Woodward leading off for the first time this season. The adjustment paid dividends early as Woodward drew a walk and scored the game's first run off of a Jordan Luplow RBI-single three batter into the game. Taylor Ward chipped in an RBI-single while Manny Argomaniz lifted a sacrifice fly to score runs two and three. Austin Guibor delivered a two-out, two-strike bases clearing triple to plate three more in the Bulldogs' six-run first. In all, the Bulldogs sent 10 to the batter's box in the first inning and faced two different CSUN pitchers.

Friday ace Jordan Brink is just one of four pitchers in the Mountain West that owns an ERA below two runs. Behind seven starts and nine appearances the junior right-hander holds a 1.84 ERA (No. 3 MW) in 49.0 IP and is holding opponents to the lowest batting average (.173) in the conference. Other top marks in the MW include least amount of hits (29) and runs (10) allowed with a minimum one inning pitched per game.

Back in the Saddle
Derick Velazquez is expected to make his second start of the season on Saturday night at New Mexico and although there is inexperience in that department this season, he is no stranger to being the first man on the bump. The then-sophomore transfer started a team-high 11 games and pitched a team-high 75.2 innings as a first-year Bulldog in 2013. Additionally, Velazquez threw two complete games in that time; he went 4-2 with a 4.40 ERA as a sophomore.

Tim Borst Named MW co-Pitcher of the Week
On April 7 the Mountain West selected Tim Borst as its MW co-Baseball Pitcher of the Week, the fifth MW pitcher or player of the week honor for the Bulldogs this season. Behind a complete game shutout, Borst led the Bulldogs to a 2-0 win vs. then-ranked No. 25 UNLV on April 5. The nine-inning outing was the longest of Borst's career and he did so without issuing a single walk. He struck out five. Borst surrendered just five hits to the Rebels, all singles, and did not allow a base runner past second base for the entirely of the game. After letting two on base in the second inning, Borst did not allow another hit until the eighth inning. In that time, he sat down 15 of 16 batters, with the one Rebel to reach coming on a fielding error in that almost perfect stretch through the middle innings. UNLV's Brian Bonnell was Borst's counterpart for the co-Pitcher of the week award.

Coach Batesole Hits Milestone Win
Head Coach Mike Batesole clinched his 400th career win as the head coach of the Bulldogs on April 5 against UNLV. As just the third Fresno State head baseball coach since 1948, he is now in line with Pete Beiden (601) and Bob Bennett (1,302) as the only coaches at Fresno State to reach 400 career wins. Coach Batesole owns a 401-312 record in his 12th year at the helm of Bulldog Baseball and a 657-470-1 overall mark.

Team First
The Bulldogs have laid down 36 sacrifice bunt in 33 games. A number high enough that ties San Jose State for most in the MW conference at 36 while it also ranks tied for the 20th most in the NCAA. Additionally, the Bulldogs have 13 sacrifice flies.

One Two Punch
Taylor Ward and Trent Woodward have alternated between the catcher position and the designated hitter spot in the lineup all season. Ward and Woodward have both started at designated hitter 16 times a piece while Ward has started one more game at catcher 17 to 16 games - Woodward started one game at first base (3/23). Ward owns a .396 (21-53) batting average as the DH with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 16 games. As a catcher Ward is hitting .290 (20-69) with one homer and nine RBIs. Woodward is hitting .316 (18-57) as a DH with one home run and 11 RBIs while catching he is hitting an identical .316 (18-57). In Woodward's single game at first base he was 0-for-4.

Perfect Game's Midseason College Top 50 prospects
Fresno State junior right-hander Jordan Brink was named to the Perfect Game midseason Top 50 prospect list on April 2. Brink was listed as No. 30 MLB prospect of D-I baseball. Brink is No. 2 among Mountain West products as Erick Fedde was No. 14. Brink was named to the initial preseason prospect list earlier this year by Perfect Game.

Schedule Change for Season Finale against SDSU
Fresno State announced on March 31, that the May 17 (Saturday) season finale vs. San Diego State will be moved to a 2:05 p.m. start. The original first pitch time was scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The 2014 season closes with an unusual Thursday-Saturday three-game series against the Aztecs.

Bulldogs on Opening Day Rosters
Five former Bulldogs were on Opening Day rosters when the Major League Baseball season began. Tanner Scheppers got the opening day start for the Texas Rangers. Matt Garza is with the Milwaukee Brewers. Casey McGehee is in his first season with the Miami Marlins. Justin Wilson returns to the bullpen as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Doug Fister opens the season on the disabled list for the Washington Nationals.

California Dreamin
The entire 34-man, 2014 Fresno State baseball roster is made up of all student-athletes from the state of California. Of the 24 Division-I baseball programs in the Golden State, five other schools can share the same distinction with the Bulldogs - Cal Poly (Big West), UC Davis (Big West), UC Irvine (Big West), UC Riverside (Big West) and Mountain West conference foe San Diego State.

"Catch the Wave" - 2014 Fresno State baseball season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at 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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