Despite a late detour to a different ballpark and town, the Fresno State baseball team was ready for its Mountain West series against Air Force.
The Bulldogs (28-16, 16-7) collected a total of 23 hits and the bullpen combined for six shutout innings in the 11-6 and 5-1 victories over the Falcons (20-19, 9-12) in a Saturday doubleheader in Grand Junction, Colo.
Sophomore Ricky Tyler Thomas, the usual Friday night ace, got the start in the morning game and was far off his best form, giving up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks though striking out eight in six innings.
Offensively, Fresno State tagged Air Force for 18 hits in Game 1. But it was a series of seventh-inning missteps by Air Force that saw Fresno State take the lead and never look back.
Tied 6-6 entering the seventh, the Bulldogs scored four runs on a bases-loaded walk, a hit batter and a two-run single by Austin Guibor.
Tim Borst tossed three shutout innings for his eighth save of the season.
In Game 2, Jimmy Lambert gave up just one run on four hits in six innings to improve to 9-0, and Dylan Lee struck out five while allowing two hits in his three shutout innings and picking up his sixth save.
Guibor again provided the bulk of the offense, with his second two-run single of the day helping the Bulldogs take a 4-0 lead in the sixth. Guibor was a combined 5 for 9 with five RBIs, adding a solo home run in the eighth. The homer was his fifth of the season.
Jesse Medrano had a career-high four hits in the opener as Fresno State snapped a two-game losing streak, both of the defeats coming in extra innings. The series victory is the team’s seventh in the Mountain West this season, a program high since joining in the conference in 2013.
The Bulldogs and Falcons will finish the series – moved to Grand Junction because of cold temperatures and possible snow at the academy’s home of Colorado Springs – at 10 a.m. Sunday.
MOUNTAIN WEST: FRESNO STATE VS. AIR FORCE
- Sunday: 10 a.m. at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colo.
- Records: Bulldogs 28-16, 16-7; Falcons 20-19, 9-12
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network/KFIG (AM 940)