What started out as an easy win for Fresno State turned into a taxing and telling series.
Fresno State mercy ruled Nevada 9-1 in six innings Friday.
But what followed were two straight losses as the Bulldogs fell 8-4 on Saturday and 7-4 on Sunday en route to dropping the three-game Mountain West series.
Both losses showed Fresno State’s heavy reliance on its offense with its pitching still inconsistent, if not erratic at times.
We just weren’t able today or yesterday to make the pitches that need to happen at times.
Fresno State coach Linda Garaza
“Start out with a bang,” first-year Bulldogs coach Linda Garza said. “Unfortunately for us, we just weren’t able today or yesterday to make the pitches that need to happen at times and to be able to execute when you need to in those moments.”
Bulldogs starting pitcher Kamalani Dung went the distance Sunday but allowed seven runs (five earned) on two walks and nine hits, including a three-run homer in the seventh.
If not for the late homer, Fresno State would’ve been down 4-2 going into the bottom half of the final inning when the Bulldogs scored a pair.
“You keep that ball in the ballpark, maybe this is a 5-4 game,” Garza said. “Nothing seemed to go our way Saturday and Sunday.”
28Base runners that Fresno State stranded during the three-game series to Nevada
In addition, Fresno State left eight runners on base Sunday a day after stranding 13.
Even in the Bulldogs’ blowout win Friday, Fresno State stranded seven runners.
“We’re going to have to be a offensively minded team,” Garza said. “It’s what we’ve always been.
“We’re going to need to drive in seven runs. We’re good enough offensively to do that.”
Fresno State (23-14, 5-4) had a chance to pull back into a tie with Utah State (23-8, 6-3) atop the Mountain West with the Aggies losing 4-2 to Boise State on Sunday.
Instead, the Bulldogs remain a game behind the Aggies entering next weekend’s pivotal three-game series at Utah State.
FRESNO STATE AT UTAH STATE
- Series: 2 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday at Utah State’s LaRee & LeGrand Johnson Field
- Records: Bulldogs 24-13, 5-4 Mountain West; Aggies 23-8, 6-3
- Radio: None
- Of note: The Bulldogs trail the first-placae Aggies by one game in the conference standings. Fresno State swept Utah State over three games last season.