Fresno State on Friday clinched the outright Mountain West baseball title and the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament next week thanks to Air Force’s victory against New Mexico.
The Falcons won 1-0 to drop the Lobos’ record in MW games to 19-10 with one game remaining. The Bulldogs wrapped up conference play last weekend at 21-9.
Fresno State (36-19) closes the regular season Saturday with the finale of a three-game series against San Francisco. Jimmy Lambert (10-1) saw his perfect season end, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings as the Bulldogs fell to the Dons 7-3 on Friday at Beiden Field at Bennett Stadium. San Francisco (21-34) blew it open with a four-run seventh.
The Bulldogs will open the conference tournament at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque at 1 p.m. Thursday against the lowest remaining seed from the first round of games Wednesday.
Ace joins Team USA – Ricky Tyler Thomas, a sophomore left-hander who has quickly risen to be the ace of the Bulldogs staff, has been selected to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer.
“This is a huge honor to be able to represent our country,” Thomas said in a university news release Friday, after the announcement by USA Baseball. “I have to give credit to my coaches and teammates, because without them I would not be fortunate enough to be given this opportunity.”
Thomas is the first Bulldog to play for USA Baseball since catcher Taylor Ward in 2014.
The San Diego native made his final regular-season start Thursday, getting the win after pitching five-hit, one-run ball over 6 1/3 innings in a 10-1 victory to open the series against San Francisco.
Thomas is 9-4 with a 1.94 ERA in 14 starts, with three complete games. He leads the Mountain West in innings (97.2), opposing batting average (.216) and strikeouts (99) and ranks second in ERA and wins, trailing only Lambert in the latter category.
Nationally, Thomas ranks among the top 25 in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP (0.95) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.19).
Team USA will travel to Chinese Taipei (July 5-9), Japan (July 12-17) and Cuba (July 23-27) as part of the International Friendship Series.