Fresno State clinched its Mountain West Conference-opening baseball series in convincing fashion Saturday – and matched the best start in program history.
The Bulldogs hammered San Diego State 10-5 at Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego to improve to 11-0 and match the 1951 team for the hottest start to a season by a Fresno State team.
The Bulldogs, who won Friday’s opening game of the three-game series 3-2, built a 10-1 lead against the Aztecs (1-10, 0-2) before San Diego State scored four runs in the ninth.
Kevin Viers went 2 for 5 with a home run (the 14th of his Bulldogs career) and two RBIs; Korby Batesole had two hits, including a two-run double, as part of Fresno State’s four-run fourth inning; Jake Stone and Aaron Arruda added two hits and an RBI each; and Brody Russell drove in two more.
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9 Career-high strikeouts for Bulldogs junior Jimmy Lambert against the Aztecs
Bulldogs starter Jimmy Lambert (3-0) followed up last week’s shutout against Youngstown State that earned him the conference Pitcher of the Week award with another strong outing. The junior right-hander scattered five hits over seven innings, struck out a career-high nine and allowed one unearned run.
After pitching a scoreless eighth, Bulldogs reliever Brennon Williams was touched for four runs (two earned) in the ninth as the Aztecs collected three hits aided by a fielding error by Bulldogs third baseman Jesse Medrano.
10 Consecutive games with a hit for Bulldogs senior outfielder Brody Russell
On Friday, Russell connected for a solo home run in the 10th inning to send Fresno State to its fifth one-run victory this season. Pinch hitter Torin Goldstein’s run-scoring single had tied the score with two outs in the sixth.
Russell, who had three of the Bulldogs’ eight hits, scored on a throwing error in the first. The Aztecs answered with a single run in the bottom of the inning and another in the third to take the lead.
Dylan Lee (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief, and Tim Borst picked up his sixth save in as many opportunities. Starter Ricky Thomas went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out five.
The series concludes with Sunday’s 1 p.m. game.
The Bulldogs remain on the road next week with four nonconference games, playing at Long Beach State on Monday followed by a three-game weekend series at Texas A&M.
FRESNO STATE AT SAN DIEGO STATE
- Sunday: 1 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium
- Records: Bulldogs 11-0, 2-0 Mountain West; Aztecs 1-10, 0-2
- Radio: KFIG (AM 940)