Taylor Ward hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first and Dylan Lee built on it from there, pitching four perfect innings en route to his first NCAA Division I victory as Fresno State beat UNLV 2-1 on Saturday in front of 1,238 fans at Beiden Field.
It didn’t matter that Ward’s homer was the only hit for the Bulldogs (5-5, 2-3 Mountain West). Lee retired the first 12 batters he faced while setting the tone for the relievers who followed and wrapped up a win that clinched the series heading into Sunday afternoon’s finale.
Lee’s run at perfection ended in the fifth when the Rebels’ Mike Stotts singled up the middle. The Bulldogs lefty would last 6.1 innings, giving up two more hits along the way, including a leadoff double in the seventh by Stotts.
One out later and with Stotts on third, Lee gave way to redshirt sophomore Mark Reece, who would get the final two outs though not without Stotts scoring on a groundout to first.
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Closer Jake Shull pitched hitless ball in his two innings to earn his first save of the season. Lee, a JC All-American for College of the Sequoias a season ago but saddled with a 14.14 ERA in his first two starts as a Bulldog, finished the game with five strikeouts and earned the win to improve to 1-1 on the season.
Rebels starter D.J. Myers was tagged with his first loss of the season after 5.1 innings of work. Myers (2-1) struck out six and gave up just that one hit, but also allowed five walks and two earned runs.
Joey Lauria pitched the final 2.2 innings for UNLV, retiring all eight batters faced, including five by strikeout.
Fresno State, which had lost five straight games entering the series after a 3-0 start to the season, is scheduled to send senior right-hander Garrett Mundell (0-0, 5.23 ERA) to the mound Sunday against right-hander Kenny Oakley (0-0, 3.86). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
Track and field: Bulldogs finish second in 1,600 relay at MW meet
Fresno State’s 1,600-meter relay team settled for silver at the Mountain West Track and Field Championships, edged by UNLV as the meet concluded its three-day run in Albuquerque.
The Rebels won in 3:41.60 while the Bulldogs team of Kyra Johnson, Dezirae Johnson, Njeri Omawahleh and Kimberley Efonye finished in 3:41.71. Johnson was eighth in the individual 400 in 56.62, a race won by Holly VanGrinsven of New Mexico in 54.69.
Fresno State freshmen Tiffany Gilmore (46-1.50) and Kayla Hopkins (45-9.25) were eighth and ninth, respectively, in the shot put. Aaliyah Pete of Colorado State won with a top heave of 53-7.5.
New Mexico captured the women’s team title with 149 points. Colorado State (96) was second and the Bulldogs (35.5) eighth among 11 teams. The Lobos also won the men’s title, with Colorado State in second, 160-140. Both of New Mexico’s squads were defending champions.
’Dogs beat ranked tennis team
Fresno State upset nationally No. 44-ranked Colorado 4-1 in a nonconference match in Boise, Idaho.
Maiar Sherif Ahmed and Rana Sherif Ahmed continued to lead the Bulldogs (8-3), winning as a tandem as Fresno State took 2 of 3 in doubles. They also won their singles matches in straight sets.
The Buffaloes (8-2) saw their four-match winning streak snapped.