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.
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.