Fresno State ace Ricky Tyler Thomas had the worst outing of his career at a terrible time for the team.
Thomas, considered one of the top 200 major league draft prospects in the nation, gave up 10 runs in the first inning without getting an out as third-seeded Fresno State lost 18-10 to No. 2 San Diego State to begin the Mountain West Tournament on Thursday in Albuquerque, N.M.
Fresno State (32-24) slides into the losers bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will play at 2 p.m. Friday against No. 4 Nevada (19-35).
The Wolf Pack fell 7-2 to No. 1 New Mexico in the other first-round game.
The Bulldogs now must win four straight over the next three days to claim the championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
San Diego State (39-18) faces New Mexico (30-25-1) at 6 p.m.
Fresno State must win four straight over the next three days to claim the Mountain West tournament.
The left-handed Thomas, a back-to-back All-Mountain West first-team selection, never found his command nor control in a game played amid a 25-mph wind at an elevation of 5,321 feet.
Thomas, staked to an early lead, walked two to start the bottom of the first, then gave up three straight singles ahead of Andrew Martinez’s three-run homer that made it 6-2.
The junior walked another, then allowed two singles and a ground-rule double.
Thomas hit a batter and he was done with Fresno State down 8-2.
Right-hander Dominic Topoozian allowed both of the runners he inherited to score, completing Thomas’ nightmare line.
4.79 Ricky Tyler Thomas’ ERA, which jumped from 3.70 after allowing 10 runs and getting no outs Thursday
Thursday’s outing alone caused Thomas’ ERA to skyrocket from 3.70 to 4.79.
It merely continued Fresno State’s trend of poor performances in Albuquerque, even with the team coming in having won 7 of 8 to close the regular season.
MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT
- Friday’s losers bracket game: Fresno State vs. No. 4 Nevada, 2 p.m in Albuquerque, N.M.
- Records: Bulldogs 32-24; Wolf Pack 19-35
- Radio: KFIG (AM 940)
- Of note: The Bulldogs must win four straight in the next three days to claim the tournament championship. Fresno State went 3-3 against Nevada during the regular season.