2013 Mountain West Baseball Championship
May 22-26, 2013 --- Pete Beiden Field (Fresno, Calif.)
Radio: ESPN 940 AM or 790 AM -- Paul Loeffler & Ray O'Canto
Live Video: MW Digital Network -- Rich Cellini & David Lombardi Note: The MW Digital Network can be viewed at the 2013 MW Baseball Championship Central.
Bulldog Bones - Overview
Fresno State is hosting the 2013 Mountain West Baseball Championship from May 22-26.
Fresno State enters the double-elimination tournament as the No. 4 seed.
Fresno State has won either its regular season or conference tournament in each of the past seven seasons; has reached NCAA Tournament in six of the past seven years.
Bulldog Bones - Player Notes
Fresno State's Aaron Judge won the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Baseball Home Run Derby and entered the 2013 season with three Preseason All-American honors.
Judge was also selected to both the preseason and midseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List, which honors the nation's best amateur player.
Right-handers Jordan Brink (twice) and Derick Velazquez, along with left-hander Tyler Linehan have earned Mountain West Pitchers of the Week this season.
Here Comes The Judge!
Fresno State junior outfielder Aaron Judge has been ruling pitchers throughout his career and stepped onto the national stage last July when he won the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Baseball Home Run Derby in Omaha. This season, Judge leads the Bulldogs with a .373 batting average, a .461 on base percentage, a .663 slugging percentage, 72 hits, 11 home runs, 41 runs, 35 RBIs, 31 walks, 15 doubles, four triples and 128 total bases. He is also 11-for-13 in stolen base attempts.
Judge Named to Midseason National Watch List
The Bulldogs' Aaron Judge was named to USA Baseball's midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The junior outfielder was also one of the 32 original members to remain on the Golden Spikes Watch List from its original 50-man list released during the preseason on Feb. 14.
The Midseason Watch List features 60 of the nation's top amateur players, and it will be a "rolling" list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the Golden Spikes Award until May 28 when 30 semifinalists for the award will be announced. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live on MLB Network for the third year in a row, with a live presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19.
Since 2008, the year the Bulldogs won the national championship, Fresno State has posted a 16-4 record in postseason elimination games. The Bulldogs have gone 9-1 in conference tournament elimination games, including a 3-0 record in 2012 to reach the NCAA Stanford Regional, and a 6-2 mark in NCAA Tournament elimination games. In the NCAA Tournament alone, Fresno State is 1-1 at the regionals in elimination games, 2-0 in the super regionals and 3-0 at the College World Series. During its run to the 2008 National Championship, Fresno State defeated San Diego 5-1 in the Long Beach Regional and then defeated No. 3 Arizona State twice in back-to-back elimination games to advance to the College World Series. In the CWS, Fresno State defeated North Carolina to reach the CWS finals and then after losing the opening game, defeated Georgia twice to win the programs first national championship.
A LOOK BACK AT THE AIR FORCE SERIES
On an especially cold weekend in Colorado Springs, the `Dogs were topped by Air Force 14-7 on March 22 before the series was suspended due to heavy snow. The Falcons were able to take advantage of a cold start from Tyler Linehan who surrendered 12 runs, eight unearned in 4.1 innings on the hill. The bullpen delivered 3.2 innings of work, posting six strikeouts while allowing two to cross the plate. The two postponed games were moved to Fresno as doubleheaders on the Friday and Saturday of the series hosted by the `Dogs on April 19-21. Air Force acted as the home team in the first matchup of both doubleheaders, they were both scheduled as seven inning contests before rolling into the evening games. It proved to not matter for the `Dogs whether they were the home or visiting team as they won both doubleheaders en route to a series sweeping Sunday afternoon win. The five-game outburst jolted the Bulldogs from last-place at 3-10 in the MW standings to fourth-place at 8-10 and back in the MW chase. In the Sunday finale, Jordan Brink registered his first complete-game performance while leading the `Dogs to a 5-3 win behind a career-best 12 strikeouts without waking a batter. In addition, he went 8-for-13 (.615) from behind the plate with three triples, two doubles and seven RBIs in a breakout weekend for the sophomore.
A LOOK BACK AT THE NEVADA SERIES
The 'Dogs visited Nevada on the back end up their season-long 11 day road trip away from Fresno to close out the month of March. The Bulldogs gave their best effort in a 5-3 loss against Nevada as they chipped away at Bradey Shipley for eight hits, but could only push across one run in the first against the highly touted Wolf Pack pitcher. Aaron Judge went 3-of-4 against Shipley, while Chris Mariscal also went 3-of-4 with an RBI double in the ninth. The `Dogs pushed across two runs with three hits in the last frame, but came up short with the winning run in the batter's box twice. Derick Velazquez returned the favor Saturday night as he pitched a gem in 7.1 innings while Jordan Brink closed it out with a clean 1.2 innings out of the bullpen for a 4-0 win. Neither team scored until the `Dogs pushed three across and later added an unearned run in the eighth. The Wolf Pack took the rubber match as the 'Dogs added another chapter in their bitter defeats of their early season struggles. Fresno State maintained a 6-2 advantage going into the bottom of the eighth. Luke Wiechec allowed two runs after tossing two scoreless innings and left Will Munro to close the game in the ninth with a 6-4 lead. Munro allowed four hits and walked four, including the game-ending bases load full-count walk. The tables turned for Fresno State when Nevada visited Fresno for the season series finale for both squads, May 16-18. Game one was a pitchers' duel, tied at 1-1 after nine innings. Freshman Taylor Ward hit a season-first walk-off solo home run on a 3-2 offering for a series opening 2-1 win in the 10th. The offense got going from that point forward as Aaron Judge blasted two home runs the next day to lead the `Dogs to a 10-4 win. Judge went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and scored three times to go along with his two homers. Kevin Viers kept the long ball connection going as he connected for two home runs of his own in the season finale to lead Fresno State to a 6-4 series sweeping win and to also close the season winning 11 of its last 13 games played at Beiden Field.
A LOOK BACK AT THE NEW MEXICO SERIES
Fresno State faced regular season Mountain West champions and No. 1 overall seed New Mexico in two three-game series this year, the first coming in Albuquerque on April 12-14 and second at home in Fresno on May 10-12. The Lobos took five of the six games in the two series including a walk-off win to sweep the 'Dogs in game three of the Albuquerque series. Game one in New Mexico proved to be frustrating as Fresno State collected 14 hits, including seven doubles, but stranded 12 base runners and the bullpen gave up seven runs in the seventh inning to give the Lobos an 11-4 victory. The second game of the series didn't get any better for Fresno State as freshman Blake Quinn pitched six quality innings and allowed just two runs before the Bulldogs' one-run lead entering the eighth inning vanished as the Lobos scored 12 runs in the bottom half of the inning for a final score of 14-3. UNM capped off the series by sweeping the 'Dogs in a rather rare ninth-inning walk-off wild pitch for a 4-3 Lobo victory after starting pitcher Jordan Brink had delivered the longest outing of his career with eight strong innings and allowing just three runs on seven hits. The second series made its way to Fresno with the Lobos ranked No. 16 in the country. New Mexico snapped a seven-game home winning streak by the 'Dogs with a 9-0 victory as UNM's starter Josh Walker tossed a three-hit complete game shutout in his first start this season. Game two saw more solid pitching from the Lobos as they recorded their 14th straight MW win as Fresno State fell 7-2. In the final game versus the Mountain West leading Lobos, the Bulldogs rallied for a 9-8 victory behind a 6-run fifth inning and a 4-for-4 afternoon from Aaron Judge who had an RBI triple, a double, and two singles.
A LOOK BACK AT THE SAN DIEGO STATE SERIES
Fresno State opened its inaugural Mountain West season at home against San Diego State on March 15 in grand fashion as Tyler Linehan tossed a complete game shutout to lead the `Dogs to a 1-0 victory in front of 1,521 fans on Friday night. Linehan was later recognized as the MW Pitcher of the Week for his effort. Following the opener the Aztecs went on to win game two 11-6 and game three 4-2. In game two SDSU found the offense it missed in game one by scoring four runs in the first inning and never looked back. The `Dogs led the rubbermatch up until the seventh when the Aztecs pushed two across the plate to overtake the lead 3-2, they would later add a run in the ninth. The total attendance from the three games of the series at Beiden Field was 4,637, an average of 1,545 fans. It was the highest attended conference series and third most of the season, behind the season series opener versus UC Santa Barbara (1,673) and USC (2,058).When the series moved south, April 26-28, similar to the home series Fresno State opened the series with a Friday night win and dropped the next two. In what was predominately a quiet game held at bay by the starters, the `Dogs held a 2-1 lead moving to the eighth. Offenses sparked for each team as they took advantage of bullpen miscues as Fresno State posted five runs in the top half and SDSU answered with four in the bottom. The `Dogs eventually escaped with a 7-5 victory for their sixth-straight win as Tim Borst closed the game down in the ninth and earned the save. The Bulldogs win-streak was snapped the next night as they were handed a 10-8 loss. Another offensive explosion was posted by the `Dogs offense as the plated five runs in the top of the seventh to take a 7-6 advantage, but sophomore reliever William Munro couldn't hold the lead as SDSU answered with four runs in the bottom half. The `Dogs once again had to play catch-up on Sunday as they battled back behind 3-0 in the fifth, Kevin Viers drilled his first career triple and came around to score after a sacrifice fly. The following inning, Aaron Judge connected for an RBI single to bring Fresno State within one, but SDSU tagged one more run for insurance in the bottom half of the sixth and held the 4-2 lead for the remainder of the game.
A LOOK BACK AT THE UNLV SERIES
Fresno State and UNLV met twice this season with the first series coming in Fresno on April 5-7 and the second meeting in Las Vegas, May 3-5. In the home series for the 'Dogs, Fresno State dropped two heartbreaking 9-8 games, before winning the third 5-3. In game one, the Bulldogs rallied in the bottom of the seventh from 6-3 down to take an 8-6 lead going into the ninth, but were unable to hold off a late charge from the Rebels. Déjà vu struck in game two as the 'Dogs made a comeback to tie the game heading into the ninth, but their offensive performance of 14 hits, led by Austin Wynns' three hits and two RBIs, wasn't enough. In the final game of the home series, the Bulldogs hit two home runs and Jordan Brink pitched six solid innings, allowing no earned runs in his Mountain West start, while Tim Borst earned his first save of the year for a 5-3 win by the 'Dogs. The three game series in Vegas went much of the same as UNLV won the first two games, with the 'Dogs picking up a win in the third to avoid a sweep. Fresno State took an early 1-0 lead in game one, but committed two key errors in the bottom of the sixth and was unable to produce any more offense and fell 4-1. Game two of the road series held few bright spots as the Bulldogs' pitching staff issued 11 walks, hit a batter and gave up 11 hits in a 9-2 loss to the Rebels. Resiliency showed on Sunday as Aaron Judge blasted a two-run go ahead home run and Derick Velazquez pitched seven innings of relief while allowing just one run for his fourth win of the season to avoid a series sweep by the Rebels.