Ricky Thomas gave Fresno State another strong start and Aaron Arruda hit his team-leading third home run, but No. 3 Texas A&M countered with a couple long balls of its own to beat the Bulldogs 3-2 Friday night at Blue Bell Park in College Station, Texas.
Fresno State trailed 3-0 after Hunter Melton’s solo home run in the second and Michael Barash’s two-run shot in the fourth gave the Aggies (13-1) a cushion they would not relinquish on their way to their eighth straight victory.
But the Bulldogs pulled within a run thanks to an RBI groundout by Scott Silva in the fifth and Arruda’s home run in the sixth.
Fresno State had a couple late chances but couldn’t come up with a run.
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Arruda led off the eighth with a single and pinch runner Jeremiah Burks stole second to get into scoring position with two outs before Joe Prior struck out to end the inning.
The Bulldogs threatened again in the ninth when Korby Batesole singled and pinch runner Ryan Dobson advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Ashford. But the Aggies’ Ryan Hendrix struck out Austin Guibor and got Brody Russell to ground out to third base to end the game.
Thomas (2-1) pitched all eight innings for Fresno State (11-3), striking out nine and allowing just five hits. Arruda finished with three of the Bulldogs’ 10 hits and Batesole had two.
The nonconference series resumes at noon Saturday and wraps up with an 11 a.m. game Sunday.