Baseball Preview: at Nevada [April 17-19]

April 16, 2014

By: Matt Burkholder

Games 38-40: Fresno State Bulldogs (18-19, 7-11 MW) at Nevada Wolf Pack (19-15, 11-7 MW)

Fresno State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Nevada Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

First Pitch: April 17-19 - Thu: 6pm, Fri: 6pm, Sat: 1pm
Stadium: Peccole Park
Surface: FieldTurf
Dimensions: 340 (LF), 401 (CF), 340 (RF)
All-Time Series: Fresno State leads 93-52
Last Meeting: FS defeated NEV, 11-9 (2014)

Radio: N/A
Video: Mountain West Network
Live Stats:
Twitter: FresnoStateBSB

Bulldog Headlines
• Fresno State visits Nevada for its second three-game series vs. the Wolf Pack of the season, April 17-19. Nevada visited the Bulldogs on Feb. 21-23; Fresno State swept the series 3-0.
• Projected pitching matchups -
   Thursday, TBA vs. LHP Barry Timko (4-1, 3.71 ERA)
   Friday, RHP Jordan Brink (2-2, 2.28 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Fain (4-2, 2.38 ERA)
   Saturday, RHP Tim Borst (2-2, 2.91 ERA) vs. RHP Jordan Deitrich (1-1, 2.84 ERA)
• Since joining the MW, Fresno State has won eight of 11 games against Nevada.
• The Bulldogs are on a four-game losing streak, matching the longest of the season.
Jordan Luplow hit his MW-leading 7th home run on Sunday, April 13 at New Mexico.
• 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. Nevada - The Series
The Bulldogs and Wolf Pack have a long history together, playing a total of 145 games, with the Bulldogs owning the all-time edge 93-52. It is the fourth longest rivalry Fresno State has behind San Jose State, Cal Poly and Sacramento State. Fresno State and Nevada are the two newest members of the Mountain West after both departing the WAC following the 2012 season. Since joining the MW, the Bulldogs own an 8-3 advantage in 11 games, with the most recent wins coming in a three-game sweep on Feb. 21-23, 2014 at Fresno. The last Wolf Pack win came against the 'Dogs in the MW tournament opening game that sent Fresno State to the losers bracket with a 4-3 defeat in extra innings. Fresno State and Nevada last shared conference affiliation in the WAC from 2000-12.

Scouting Nevada
For the first time in 31 years the Wolf Pack are led by a new skipper as long time head coach Gary Powers retired after the 2013 season. First-year head coach Jay Johnson joined the Wolf Pack after serving as the associate head coach at the University of San Diego for the past eight years. In his first season as a Division-I coach; Johnson owns a 19-15 mark and have the Wolf Pack rolling, winning 10 of their last 15 games.

Nevada swept San Diego State last weekend to move into third place in the Mountain West standings. All three starters set to take on the Bulldogs, Barry Timko, Michael Fain and Jason Deitrich, earned victories over SDSU. Nevada is 7-2 in Fain's nine starts, 5-2 when Timko starts and 1-5 when Deitrich makes the start. Leading the way behind the dish is Kewby Meyer, Nevada's left fielder is tops on the team in batting average (.322), runs (26), hits (46), doubles (18), and multiple hit games (16).

Last Time Out
Tuesday night at Pacific, Fresno State jumped on top early 3-0 in the first before Pacific battled back to power past the Bulldogs 6-4 at Klein Family Field. Fresno State scattered four hits all night, starting with Kevin Viers second homer of the season in the first that plated two who had both reached on walks. Fresno State went on to register singles in each the second, third and fifth, before being held hit-less through the final four innings. William Munro, the Bulldogs' starter, mowed through the Tigers lineup through the first three innings, nine up and nine down. When the order came back around in the fourth, Munro surrendered three consecutive hits vs. the top of the order and combined with a HBP, wild pitch and passed ball, the Tigers tied the game 3-3. The 'Dogs reclaimed the lead 4-3 the following frame, before déjà vu struck in the fifth as Pacific led off the inning with three consecutive hits that led to two more runs. Pacific added an insurance run in the seventh that resulted in the 6-4 final.

The Long Ball
With the statistic minimum, 1.0 IP/game, Fresno State pitchers Tim Borst and Jimmy Lambert are two of five Mountain West pitchers that have not allowed a home run to an opponent this season. As a team, the Bulldogs lead the conference with least homers allowed, three. Nevada ranks No. 2 in that category with five allowed in 2014. On the flip side, the Fresno State offense has produced more home runs than any other team in the MW (20). Bulldogs' outfielder Jordan Luplow leads the conference with seven homers and ranks T-No. 33 in the NCAA in that category. Luplow cleared the bases twice last weekend in back-to-back games, Saturday and Sunday, at New Mexico.

The Leader in Right Field
One consistent feature about the Bulldogs 2014 team is that you will always find Jordan Luplow in right field. Luplow has started 37-of-37 games in right field in 2014, and 129-of-137 career games as a Bulldog in right field. This season the Bulldogs' outfielder leads the team in batting average (.350), runs (25), hits (48), doubles (12), home runs (7), total bases (83), slugging percentage (.606), on-base percentage (.451) and stolen bases (7). Those number rank in the MW as - batting average (3rd), runs (T-11th), hits (5th), doubles (5th), home runs (1st), total bases (T-2nd), slugging percentage (2nd), on-base percentage (2nd), stolen bases (T-6th). Luplow set a career-best 18-game hit streak this season from Feb. 19 to March 21. The 18-game streak still ranks as tied for the 5th longest streak in the NCAA this season. Currently, he leads the team with a six-game hit streak.

Bulldogs in a Funk
Fresno State dropped below .500 for the first time this season with its most recent loss to Pacific on Tuesday, April 15. It is the first time the Bulldogs have been below that threshold this season. Fresno State started the year 13-4, and since a five-run come from behind loss to New Mexico in the ninth inning on March 14, the Bulldogs have gone 5-15 in the last 20 games. Fresno State peaked on Monday, March 3, when they were 9-2 and ranked inside the Top-25 for the first time since 2011. The Bulldogs matched their longest losing streak of the season (4) with their last loss to Pacific.

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.

Alvarez Returns to Second Base
The Bulldogs only senior on their roster has started the past four games at second base after receiving just one start this season in the second game of a doubleheader on March 8 at Air Force. In those five games he has a fielding percentage of 1.000 and has helped turn five double plays while making zero errors. Alvarez made 44 starts at second base last season.

Run Production
Fresno State is 14-8 when they score three runs or more in a game and a matching 14-8 when they are first to score.

Mountain West Weekly Awards Honorees
Fresno State baseball has earned five weekly player of the week awards, tied for the most in the conference along with San Diego State. Tim Borst was the most recent winner thanks to his five-hit complete game shutout again UNLV on April 5.

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 401-316 record in his 12th year at the helm of Bulldog Baseball and a 657-474-1 overall mark.

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.

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

"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.



 Email this article   Printer-friendly format