Fresno State

Fresno State baseball Bulldogs lose doubleheader

Fresno State could blame its starting pitching again.

Or the Bulldogs could point to their inability to come through with timely hits for a third straight game.

But what irks coach Mike Batesole most -- and might cause Fresno State players to run a little farther and field more groundballs in the upcoming week -- is the shoddy defense the Bulldogs displayed in losing 8-4 and 5-2 to Oregon in a doubleheader Saturday at Beiden Field.

Fresno State (5-5) committed two errors in the first game and three in the second, which was a seven-inning affair, to drop its third straight game against Oregon (8-5) in the four-game series that ends today.

"We played good catch for two weekends but so far this weekend we haven't," said Batesole, whose team has committed a combined six errors in the three games against the Ducks.

"When we make mistakes like we made today, the other team is going to be good enough to make you pay for them."

The slide against an Oregon team that is in its second season of fielding a baseball team again after a 28-year absence could be a major sting to Fresno State's ambitious goals of hosting an NCAA Regional and Super Regional.

This series already has ended Fresno State's strong start.

"It's a humbling effect," said Bulldogs shortstop Garrett Weber, who combined to go 2 for 8 Saturday. "We were 5-2 and playing well. Now we're 5-5 and not playing so well.

"You just got to get over the losses as fast as the wins. You got to put these behind us and try to get one [today], play for not getting swept and playing for pride."

In Saturday's first game, Fresno State starting pitcher Matt Morse was bruised for six runs -- three unearned because of errors -- on seven hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.

It was the fourth time in the past five games that Fresno State's starting pitcher has allowed at least five runs.

Fresno State's bats also were ineffective, despite some activity. The Bulldogs wasted 12 hits, mostly by hitting into four double plays.

The Bulldogs did receive a quality start from nightcap starter Charlie Robertson, who was inserted into the rotation this weekend with opening-day ace Derek Benny sent to the bullpen.

Robertson, a 6-foot-5 right-handed sophomore, gave up three runs on six hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings. His performance, coupled with the struggles of Fresno State's other starting pitchers, could earn Robertson more starting time.

"He threw the ball exceptionally well," Batesole said of Robertson. "His misses were good misses. We didn't play very good catch behind him and made him make a few more pitches. He might have finished that game."

Benny, the Western Athletic Conference's preseason Pitcher of the Year, entered in relief of Robertson. Benny allowed two hits and two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Sophomore Josh Poytress, the Bulldogs' only left-handed starting pitcher, will take the mound today.

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