FRESNO, Calif. — The CSUB baseball team, in its first year of existence, gave defending NCAA Division I National Champion Fresno State nearly all it could handle Friday night at Beiden Field, taking an early 2-0 lead. But the experienced Bulldogs manufactured the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth and held on through a ninth-inning push by the Roadrunners to claim a 3-2 win over CSUB on the fifth day of action at the 31st Annual Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic.
Bakersfield (4-9 overall) put two runs on the board in the top of the fourth, beginning with leadoff Kyle Richardson reaching on a hit-by-pitch. Ryan McIntyre smacked a double to left field, sending Richardson home for a 1-0 ‘Runner lead. McIntyre advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a Jeremy Rodriguez single to right to make it 2-0. The Bulldogs (9-5 overall) then worked their way out of the inning, forcing the ‘Runners into a ground out and a pair of fly outs to end the inning.
Bakersfield starting pitcher Mickey Jannis had a no-hitter going into the bottom of the sixth, recording seven strikeouts and one walk during the opening 5.2 innings. With two outs into the sixth, Fresno State got its first hit of the game on a Danny Muno single up the middle. Kenny Wise followed with a double down the right field line, but McIntyre hurled the ball quickly back into play to hold Muno at third. Jannis then worked his way out of the jam by drawing a ground out to short by Alan Ahmady to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jannis drew his eighth strikeout of the game, sending leadoff Tom Mendonca to the bench. Following a Brennan Gowens walk, Gavin Hedstrom’s fly ball gave the Bulldogs two outs. But the home team rallied late as designated hitter Jordan Ribera singled to right-center, advancing Gowens to third. Trent Garrison then came up with the big hit of the inning, a double to left-center than sent pinch runner Dane McLaughlin and Ribera across home plate to tie the game, 2-2.
After giving up back-to-back walks to load the bases, Jannis was replaced by Garrett Branske, who drew a quick strikeout to end the inning. The junior finished with eight strikeouts while scattering four walks and four hits for two runs in 6.2 innings of work.
Fresno State benefitted from a pair of Roadrunner errors in the bottom of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead. With one out, Mendonca reached on a fielding error by Brankse, who pulled his foot trying to make a ground out at first. Gowens then singled to Bakersfield’s second baseman Eric Sanchez, who fumbled the ball, allowing Mendonca to advance to third. Hedstrom then laid down a bunt that Branske was able to field, but not before Mendonca raced across home plate for the go-ahead run.
Branske threw Hedstrom out on the play, then drew a ground out from Danny Grubb for the third out of the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Stuart Smith led off with a single through the left side. JJ Henry entered as a pinch runner, Martin Medina struck out and pinch hitter Jason Kudlock hit a single into center field, giving Bakersfield runners on first and second with one out. Pinch hitter Mick Gaston followed with a fielder’s choice to third, advancing Henry to third while Kudlock was thrown out at second. With two outs, Joey Mills drew a full count walk to load the bases, but the Bulldogs worked out of the jam with a Boren ground out.
Boren finished with a team-best three hits, while six other ‘Runners had one hit. McIntyre and Rodriguez each had an RBI in the game.
Holden Sprague picked up his second win on the mound for Fresno State, nearly pitching a complete game. The right-handed hurler had three strikeouts, two walks and scattered eight hits in 8.1 innings of work.
Bakersfield concludes tournament action Saturday with a 2 p.m. match-up against Portland State. The Roadrunners claimed a 9-7, come-from-behind win over the Pilots in the teams’ first meeting on Wednesday.
Score by Innings R H E
CS Bakersfield...... 000 200 000 - 2 9 2
Fresno State........ 000 000 21X - 3 5 1
Win - Sprague (2-0). Loss - Branske (0-1). Save - Bischoff (1).
E - Sanchez; Branske; Mendonca(1). DP - FS 3. LOB - CSUB 8; FS 8. 2B -
McIntyre; Wise(3); Garrison, Tr(2). HBP - Richardson. SH - Hedstrom(3).