Fresno State won a baseball game at New Mexico for the first time in its history Saturday.
Anthony Arias limited the host Lobos to one run through 42/3 innings and the bullpen took it from there as Fresno State picked up the historical 8-1 victory.
Fresno State (16-12, 7-4) moved to 1-10 all-time at New Mexico and squared the Mountain West series at a game apiece. The Bulldogs had dropped their first seven conference games played at Lobo Field since joining the Mountain West for the 2013 season.
New Mexico (13-11, 6-5) tied its lowest home scoring output for the season, with the Lobos annually punishing visiting pitchers in the thin, hot air of Albquerque. The Lobos entered Saturday averaging 7.7 runs through their first 14 home games; they averaged 6.8 in 31 home games last season.
Never miss a local story.
The Bulldogs nursed a 3-1 lead through seven innings before exploding for five in the ninth to thwart any thought of a Lobos rally.
Catcher Taylor Ward, who went 3 for 5, drove in two with a single to ignite the late onslaught. The Bulldogs tacked on three more via a groundout byAaron Arruda, a wild pitch and an RBI double off the bat of Korby Batesole.
Junior Tim Borst, who relieved Arias in the fifth, was credited with the win after 22/3 scoreless innings. Borst (4-2, 2.67 ERA) leads the Bulldogs in victories, though he’s made just two starts in 10 appearances.
Fresno State’s highly reliable, high-leverage relievers closed it out, with Casey Rodriguez (0.90 ERA), Jake Shull (1.23) and Mark Reece (2.70) combining to allow just one hit and no walks in the final 12/3 innings.
New Mexico was 2 for 19 with runners on and 0 for 11 with men in scoring position. The Lobos also made four errors.
Fresno State got on the scoreboard firsst when Jake Stone opened the second inning with a triple, eventually scoring on crossed home on Joe Prior’s groundout.
New Mexico’s Carl Stajduhar tied it at 1-1 with a solo homer in the fourth.
The Bulldogs reclaimed the lead in the fifth without registering a hit — instead drawing a four-pitch walk, followed by a hit batsman, a throwing error and another four-pitch walk ahead of Taylor Tempel’s sacrifice fly. Fresno State went ahead 3-1 thanks to a pair of New Mexico errors.
Softball rallies in 8th
Fresno State went from nearly getting no-hit to pulling out a 3-2 victory in eight innings against San Jose State in a Mountain West Conference softball game at Margie Wright Diamond.
The Bulldogs scored two in the seventh to force extra innings, and cleanup hitter Kierra Willis provided the winning hit with an RBI single that scored Whitney Smith from third as Fresno State evened the three-game series between two of the conference’s early contenders.
Fresno State had not generated a hit or walk through 52/3 innings against the Spartans’ Allison Lang, who pitched a three-hitter in a 1-0 victory in the series opener.
But the Bulldogs (23-11, 4-1) finally drew a base on balls with two outs in the sixth and followed with back-to-back infield singles to load the bases. They failed to score, but did come through in the seventh.
Paige Gumz doubled to drive in Fresno State’s first run and Bria Kennedy hit a sacrifice fly to tie it.
The Spartans are 24-12 and 4-1.
Hannah Harris got the win, scattering six hits without a walk while allowing two runs (one earned).
Equestrian team wins UEC championship
Fresno State captured the United Equestrain Conference Championship, dominating the Western competition while beating Southern Methodist 12-4 at the Student Horse Center.
The teams were tied 4-4 before the Bulldogs won 8-0 in Western.
Bulldogs’ relay wins
The Fresno State women’s 1,600-meter relay team provided the Bulldogs highlight to close the 37th Aztec Invitational in San Diego.
Kyra Johnson, Njeri Omawahleh, Nailah Harris-Murillo and Dezirae Johnson delivered Fresno State’s lone victory Saturday, finishing in 3 minutes, 41.88 seconds. The Bulldogs foursome won by more than 3 seconds as San Diego State finished second at 3:45.27.
Johnson was took second in the 400 hurdles at 59.51 seconds and freshman Savannah Miller placed second in the high jump at 5 feet, 71/4 inches.
On the men’s side, Fresno State seniors Devin Harrison and Brice Sandri each had second-place finishes. Harrison cleared 24-31/2 in the long jump and Sandri threw 179-11 in the discus.
Among Friday’s highlights, Caitlin Byrd won the women’s hammer invitational with a toss of 185 feet, 10 inches. Meagan Paracholski was 13th out of 97 finishers in a personal-best 4:37.25 in the 1,500-meter run. The time fell just outside Fresno State all-time top 10.
Also setting personal bests were Chriss Grimble (3:53.86) and Uriel Cabanas (3:56.86) in men’s 1,500, with Grimble finishing fifth and Cabanas 14th in the 66-man field.