Fresno State’s bid to win the Mountain West Conference championship is in a weather delay, but the Bulldogs did catch one break.
The winners’ bracket game scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday against New Mexico was finally postponed after a 1-hour, 20-minute delay under a steady downpour at Peccole Field. The teams will try to play at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the conference will remain flexible past that game.
But no team will play three games Saturday, which would have been possible with the postponement if the loser of the game between the Bulldogs and Lobos came back to win an elimination game against San Diego State that remains scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.
What is known is that the winner between the Bulldogs and New Mexico secures a berth in the championship game of the double-elimination tournament, which could be played at 7 p.m. Saturday (if San Diego State wins that afternoon eliminator) or on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re all just kind of in limbo, all we know is we’re not playing (Friday),” coach Mike Batesole said after the game was called.
The Bulldogs were to start redshirt freshman left-hander Anthony Arias, and he likely will go when the tournament resumes. The delay, Batesole said, should not have an impact on the team’s pitching depth.
“I don’t think it affects us or New Mexico, it probably helps San Diego State,” he said. “The smart play then would be to play two (Saturday) and then have Sunday the championship day with one or maybe two.”
The Bulldogs and Lobos passed time during the delay with dueling skits in the rain — one of the best had New Mexico players acting out the play when Korby Batesole slid hard into third in a game against Nevada at Beiden Field last month, touching off a bench-clearing brawl.
The Bulldogs came off the bench again, this time to applaud the Lobos’ effort.
Fresno State had a player do the upside-down man, it had players imitating a tennis match and had a player put another across his shoulders and do a squat.
The Bulldogs also reenacted the play from their first game of the tournament against UNLV when Jesse Medrano slid into home and was called safe as the Rebels catcher could not put down a tag despite the ball arriving in plenty of time.
Fresno State players also did a magic trick. Korby Batesole laid down in a box created by players, but when they closed it Batesole snuck out and another snuck in. The box was open and poof — there was a different player there.
New Mexico had another hit with a reenactment of the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Just like the real thing, the player imitating Mayweather did a lot of dancing around the ring.
“I watched a lot of that, that was pretty good stuff,” Batesole said. “I like the one with the upside-down man. I’ve seen it before, but it gets me every time.”
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
FRESNO STATE VS. NEW MEXICO
- Saturday: 11 a.m. at Mountain West Tournament in Reno, weather-permitting
- Of note: Schedule is subject to change, with rain washing out teams’ scheduled 7 p.m. game Friday. Check back at fresnobee.com/bulldogs for the latest updates.
- At stake: Winner advances to championship game, either Saturday night or Sunday