FRESNO, Calif. – Despite giving up six runs in the first two innings, Fresno State rallied for a 11-10 victory over Oakland on Tuesday evening at Pete Beiden Field.
“We faced some adversity today,” said head coach Mike Batesole after the Bulldogs victory. “We made a couple errors behind our pitchers for the first time this season, but I am more proud of our guys today than I was this weekend than we were winning 2-1. There was some stuff we had to fight through and they could have easily shut it down and it could have went the other way. They did not and just kept fighting and grinding and you love that. That is a fun team to coach.”
Fresno State (4-0) totaled its run total from its first three games combined scoring 11 runs and collecting 10 hits. With hits from seven different Bulldogs, Aaron Arruda led the way with a career-high three hits as the sophomore designated hitter recorded a single, double, and connected on his second home run of the season. Arruda also tallied a career-high four RBI’s.
Centerfielder Brody Russell went 2-for-3 scoring a career-high three runs. Freshman shortstop Jeremiah Burkscollected his first collegiate hit, a two-run RBI double, and scored a run. Jake Stone added three RBI’s and scored a pair of runs.
With the Bulldogs trailing Oakland (1-3) 6-0 after the first two innnings, Fresno State went to work from the plate in the bottom of the third inning driving across four runs to cut into the deficit. Austin Guibor and Russell scored the ‘Dogs first two runs of the game before Arruda drove a two-out home run to left center for his third career home run.
Freshman right-hander Edgar Gonzalez made his Bulldog debut on the mound. After allowing six runs, only one earned, in his first two innings of work, the Newark, Calif., native settled down retiring the final eight Golden Grizzlies he faced.
“Gonzalez was pretty amped up being his first time towing the rubber in a Division I game,” said Batesole on his freshman starter. “He is going to be fantastic for us. You just have to stay with these freshman and let them fight through it. It was great for him to end the game with two scoreless innings.”
The Bulldogs jumped ahead 7-6 in the bottom of the fifth adding three runs before Oakland answered in the sixth inning tacking on four runs to re-take the lead.
Brennon Williams, appearing in relief in his third straight game, worked a scoreless fifith inning and gave way to Rickey Ramirez in the sixth. The sophomore allowed four unearned runs and issued two walks, but was credited with his first career win. A Bulldog error and a wild pitch allowed the first two runs to score and a two-run RBI single by Brett Impemba pushed Oakland’s lead to 10-7.
The ‘Dogs continued to battle back answering with a four-run bottom half of the inning to re-gain a 11-10 lead. After pinch-hittter Zach Ashford and Nick Warren hopped on base via walks, Burks doubled to left center driving home the pair for his first hit as a ‘Dog making it a one-run game.
Guibor flied out for the first out of the frame, but Russell followed with a single and hustled to second to put a pair of runners in scoring position for Stone. The junior followed with a sacrifice fly to left field bringing home Burks to tie the game. After Russell advanced to third on a wild pitch, Arruda came through clutch again with a single back up the middle driving home Russell for the eventual game-winning run.
The Bulldog bullpen took over after that as senior Dylan Lee came on in relief of Ramirez pitching a scoreless seventh and notched the first two outs of the eighth before giving way to closer Tim Borst.
With runners on first and second, Borst induced a fly out to right field to escape the eighth and came back out for the ninth and worked around a one-out single to pick up his third save of the season.
Fresno State returns to action this weekend hosting Youngstown State (1-2) in a four-game series at Pete Beiden Field. The ‘Dogs and Penguins kick off the series on Friday at 6:05 p.m.