The Fresno State baseball team had a chance to gain ground in the Mountain West standings.
During Fresno State’s Sunday series finale with San Jose State, first-place New Mexico dropped its finale against San Diego State and gave the second-place Bulldogs a chance to close within one game.
But the opportunity would go to waste.
Fresno State hit a pair of tough-luck liners directly at San Jose State defenders that halted two extra-inning rallies, and the Bulldogs fell 7-5 in 12 innings at Beiden Field.
Falling short, that’s a tough one for us.
Bulldogs leadoff hitter Ryan Dobson
“We did a great job hitting the ball hard all weekend, but it just didn’t work out today,” Bulldogs leadoff hitter Ryan Dobson said. “Can’t control exactly where it lands. Just want to hit the ball hard.
“Falling short, that’s a tough one for us.”
The Bulldogs (26-15, 14-7) still took two of three against the Spartans. But Sunday snapped Fresno State’s five-game win streak in conference play.
New Mexico (29-13, 16-5), which lost 10-9 on Sunday, remains two ahead of Fresno State with nine Mountain West games left.
Before Fresno State ran into some tough luck late, the Bulldogs seemed to be destined for defeat after starting pitcher Edgar Gonzalez gave up three runs off three hits and three walks before he was removed after 1 2/3 innings.
Bulldogs coach Mike Batesole then decided to go with an array of relievers to get through the game as seven Fresno State pitchers ended up taking the mound.
Fresno State managed to force extra innings after scoring a pair of runs in the eighth and then tying the game in the ninth on Jesse Medrano’s walk with the bases loaded.
The Bulldogs’ luck on offense ended there.
Pinch hitter Joe Prior flied out to right to end the ninth inning.
Then with runners at the corners in the 11th, Medrano hit a low line drive directly to San Jose State’s third baseman to end the threat.
Fresno State trailed by two runs in the 12th when Kevin Viers stepped to the plate with a runner at first. A day earlier, Viers hit two home runs. But he would line out into a game-ending double play on Sunday.
Then with a runner on first in the 12th and the Bulldogs down two runs, Kevin Viers had a chance to tie the game with a homer.
A day earlier, Viers had hit a pair of home runs to power Fresno State in an 8-6 victory.
But on Sunday, he lined directly at the Spartans’ first baseman for an unassisted game-ending double play.
“We pushed hard, tied it a couple times,” Fresno State’s Scott Silva said. “Just didn’t go our way.”
San Jose State scored two runs in the top of the 12th on Sunday after Fresno State closer Tim Borst seemed to tire out while pitching a third straight inning. He gave up four hits and two runs in the 12th inning alone.
Dobson finished 5 for 7 with an RBI. Silva went 4 for 4 with two runs.
FRESNO STATE AT SACRAMENTO STATE
- Wednesday: 6 p.m. at John Smith Field
- Records: Bulldogs 26-15; Hornets 24-15
- Radio: KFIG (AM 940)
- Of note: Bulldogs won the first meeting 7-5 on April 6 at Beiden Field