Fresno State

Fresno State baseball: Ducks sweep away Bulldogs

Roughly 30 minutes had passed since the final out and still no Fresno State baseball player or coach had emerged from the clubhouse.

You couldn't blame the Bulldogs for needing extra time to collect themselves from this disastrous weekend.

Fresno State (5-6) was swept in four games at home for the first time in coach Mike Batesole's eight seasons, punctuated with an 8-3 loss to Oregon on Sunday at Beiden Field.

"As soon as you feel comfortable for one second, you get slugged right on the mouth," said Batesole, whose Bulldogs entered the weekend with two series victories but got outscored 28-11 by Oregon. "You always do. We deserved to get slugged four times in the mouth and we did."

Never before had a Batesole-led Bulldogs team looked so outmatched and outperformed in every phase and in every game of a series at Beiden Field.

Prior to this weekend, the Bulldogs had been swept only twice at home under Batesole -- a three-game series to Cal Poly in 2007 and another three-game series to Cal Poly in 2005.

This time, it was to a Ducks team that was predicted to finish last in the Pac-10 coaches' preseason poll and is in just its second season fielding a baseball program after a 28-year hiatus.

Credit Oregon (9-5) for rising to the challenge of facing the 2008 national champs, a target Oregon coach George Horton reminded his Ducks prior to the series. Horton, who previously coached and won a national championship at Cal State Fullerton, moved to 17-2 against Batesole's Bulldogs.

But the Bulldogs are hardly without blame.

The defense was atrocious and committed five errors, including three from shortstop Danny Muno on Sunday alone. Oddly, Fresno State also turned five double plays to match a school record, last set in 1986.

Make no mistake, though: It was a poor defensive series for Fresno State, which committed 11 errors in the four games.

Even in some of Fresno State's double plays, the exchange failed to look smooth.

"Right now, every time you make an error, you either give up a run or you're going to take pitches out of your pitcher's arm," Batesole said. "If we scheduled some team back East that was just getting out of the snow, we might win this game 10-9 today and be happy where we're at.

"You play a good team, everytime you make a mistake, they stick it to you."

Despite his strong comments, Batesole hardly seemed concerned that the Bulldogs would remain in a funk.

"If you're 35-25, you're going to be in an Regional and be in good shape," Batesole said. "But that's still 25 times you're going to get punked.

"We've got our first chance as a club to answer back."

Horton forecast Fresno State as a team that still would reach the College World Series, though with a caveat -- the Bulldogs have to fix their pitching and shore up their defense.

Bulldogs pitcher Josh Poytress followed Charlie Robertson's solid start from Saturday with a quality outing Sunday. Poytress gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings.

But the Bulldogs still need to fix the front-end of the rotation, which allowed 12 runs and 18 hits in 10 1/3 innings during the first two games of this series.

"Coach Batesole has some warriors and they're a great offensive team," Horton said. "They'll go as far as their pitching takes them. I told my team, this is an Omaha-type team we just faced.

"They'll be ready and they'll be much improved in the end."