Fresno State

Fresno State baseball: Cal becomes latest ranked foe to fall to Bulldogs

Make that two nationally ranked Pac-12 baseball teams that Fresno State has beaten this season.

The Bulldogs did it again Wednesday night, using a six-run seventh inning to secure a 7-2 victory against No. 21 Cal in a nonconference game at Beiden Field.

Last week, Fresno State won 14-7 at then-No. 8 USC.

“It’s definitely exciting,” said Bulldogs right-hander Mark Reece, who closed out the Golden Bears with two scoreless innings of relief. “But at the same time, we have a mentality that we don’t necessarily care who we play. We’re going to show up to the ballpark every day and play our style of baseball.”

Bulldogs cleanup hitter Manny Argomaniz sparked the big inning, roping a two-out double down the left-field line to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs.

A Cal throwing error led to another Bulldogs run, and sophomore Jake Stone belted his first career home run — a three-run shot over the right-field wall.

Argomaniz, a senior captain, went 2 for 5 with three RBIs. Taylor Ward, Stone and Taylor Tempel added two hits each.

Fresno State (15-11) extended its winning streak to a season-best five games. Cal (18-6) had its three-game win streak snapped.

As part of its continued approach to midweek games, Fresno State used an assortment of pitchers to get through Wednesday.

Coach Mike Batesole called on seven against Cal.

The “Johnny Wholestaff” strategy has been surprisingly effective for the Bulldogs, who entered the game 4-2 in midweek contests while trotting out an average of 5.7 pitchers per game.

In Fresno State’s most impressive win of the season, the throttling of USC, the Bulldogs went through nine pitchers.

Even in two of Fresno State’s three wins against San Jose State over the weekend, the Bulldogs turned to at least six pitchers.

The continuous shuffling on the mound, and all the arm angles and speeds that were the result, seemed to confuse Cal most of the night.

The Bears, who finished with five hits, generated no more than one hit in an inning and went hitless in five frames.

“We have a lot of pitchers who are good,” pitching coach Steve Rousey said. “When that happens, you want to make sure good pitchers aren’t sitting on the bench.

“And the other part is being able to mix and match, bring in lefties and matchup guys. We kind of keep them off-balance.”

Casey Rodriguez (1-0) got the win, though he pitched just one-third of an inning. Reece retired six of the seven batters he faced in a scoreless eighth and ninth. Bulldogs starting pitcher Brennon Williams had the highest pitch count with 42 while going two innings.

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first when Argomaniz singled in Kenny Corey from second base, one of three straight singles that Fresno State sprinkled in against Bears starter Collin Monsour.

The lead didn’t last long, though.

Cal’s Mitchell Kranson smacked a solo homer off Williams to start the second inning.

The Golden Bears then took a 2-1 lead when No. 3 hitter Chris Paul launched a solo homer off Ricky Ramirez to start the sixth.

Ramirez, a right-handed freshman who entered the day 0-0 with a 6.10 ERA in nine appearances (101/3 innings), seemed outmatched from the start against the Cal senior who began play Wednesday hitting .375 with five home runs.

Fresno State, which heads back to Mountain West Conference play at New Mexico this weekend, left seven runners stranded through the first six innings.

But then Argomaniz ignited the Bulldogs’ clutch hitting in the seventh.