Fresno State baseball: Quinn struggles anew as Bulldogs lose to Sacramento State

The Fresno BeeFebruary 19, 2014 

Fresno State right-hander Blake Quinn found the strike zone more than he did in his first start of the season, but his command within its shifting borders remained an elusive commodity on Wednesday night in a 6-4 nonconference loss to Sacramento State at Beiden Field.

The co-Freshman of the Year last season in the Mountain West Conference gave up eight hits, three walks and hit one batter in allowing six earned runs in five innings. He went into and came out of the start against the Hornets with an ERA of 10.80 -- the only one of 11 on the Bulldogs' pitching staff with an ERA of more than 2.00 early on.

And with conference play starting Friday with a three-game series against Nevada -- and Derick Velazquez and Tim Borst, who threw two of the four scoreless innings out of the bullpen, among others throwing very well at this point -- the Bulldogs could re-evaluate when and where Quinn next tries to find his command.

Where does Quinn fit into the equation?

"I don't know," coach Mike Batesole said. "We'll have to re-evaluate it. We gave him two starts and neither one was a quality start. We'll have to re-evaluate. I don't know. It just happened, so I'll have to talk to (pitching coach Steve Rousey) and see where we're going to go with it."

Sacramento State (3-2) scored three runs in the third, one in the fourth and two in the fifth against Quinn, the last two coming after the Bulldogs had cut the Hornets lead to 4-2 on a solo home run by Jordan Luplow and a run-scoring single by Taylor Ward.

Quinn gave up a leadoff double to left fielder Chris Lewis and a single to right by Will Soto. Scotty Burcham reached on a fielder's choice, as the Bulldogs cut down Lewis at the plate. Both runners then moved up on a fly to center off the bat of David Del Grande, and scored on a single by Dane Fujinaka.

Quinn was ahead 1-2 against the Hornets' catcher, who came into the game batting .182.

Five of the six Sacramento State runs were driven in by the group that included Clay Cederquist (batting .176), Rhys Hoskins (.211), Will Soto (.263) and Fujinaka, who with two hits raised his batting average to .214.

"Just sloppy," Batesole said. "It was 106 pitches to get through five innings. I'm going to have to count them, but I'm going to guess that somewhere around 85 or 90 of those were mid-thigh and up. You just can't win a Division I game like that."

Down 6-2 into the sixth, the Bulldogs (3-2) scored two, but ran into two outs on the bases that prevented them from getting any closer.

Luplow opened the inning with a walk, but was cut down trying to steal second base.

Trent Woodward followed with a walk and Ward drilled a two-run home run to left center.

Kevin Viers followed with a single to right-center, but was thrown out attempting to steal for the second out in the inning and Brody Russell struck out.

• Cederquist, the former Fowler High star who started at Fresno State, then went to Fresno City before finding his way to Sacramento State, is back in action after redshirting last year because of injury.

The reporter can be reached at rkuwada@fresnobee.com or @rkuwada on Twitter.

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