Fresno State provided a thriller of a home debut, scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Cal Poly 3-2 to open the Bulldog Classic on Thursday.
Down 2-1 with two outs and runners on second and third, junior infielder Katie Castellon hit a fly ball to left-center, and it fell just out of reach of the diving Mustangs’ center fielder, Amanda Sandoval, to score the tying and game-winning runs.
Castellon’s hit was one of just three the Bulldogs mustered against Mustangs ace and Visalia native Sierra Hyland (El Diamante).
Hyland (4-3) opened the game with three swinging strikeouts and later retired 17 batters in a row from the middle of the second inning to the eighth. She finished with three earned runs on three hits to go with 11 strikeouts.
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Fresno State pitcher Kamalani Dung got the win to improve to 6-2. She allowed seven hits for two runs (one earned), walked four and struck out four.
The Bulldogs (7-4) host No. 12 Minnesota at 5:30 p.m. Friday. This weekend also draws UC Davis and Idaho State. Other scheduled times for the Bulldogs are 5:30 p.m. Saturday vs. UC Davis and 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Idaho State, and 11:30 a.m. Sunday vs. Cal Poly and 2:30 p.m. Sunday vs. UC Davis.