Fresno State

Fresno State baseball team jumps into second in Mountain West; softball: Bulldogs take 2 of 3

Fresno State closer Jaime Arias got the start Sunday against Air Force and pitched 6 2/3 innings for the victory.
Fresno State closer Jaime Arias got the start Sunday against Air Force and pitched 6 2/3 innings for the victory. Fresno State Athletics

The Fresno State baseball and softball teams each won Mountain West Conference weekend series at home, but they’re probably each feeling differently about the outcome.

The Bulldogs baseball team took four of five from Air Force to leap from fifth place to second in the conference.

The softball team won its second straight series, taking two of three from Nevada – but Sunday’s 5-1 loss in extra innings prevented a sweep.

Baseball

Fresno State (20-12, 8-6) got within two games of first-place San Jose State (and even in the loss column) with a pivotal series looming Thursday-Saturday at San Jose State.

The Bulldogs capped the Air Force series with a 9-5 victory Sunday.

The first two days of the series featured unique doubleheaders brought about because weather forced the teams to scrub a series last month at Air Force. Both weekend doubleheaders had a seven-inning first game. On Friday, Fresno State was the visiting team in both games and won 6-0 and 5-2. On Saturday, back as the home team, the Bulldogs won 13-7 but lost the nightcap 4-3.

After 32 innings in two days, it must’ve seemed like it was time for the closer – so Fresno State turned to its late-inning specialist, Jaime Arias. In his first start in 17 appearances (including seven saves) this season, Arias scattered six hits and allowed two runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings for Sunday’s victory.

Designated hitter Ryan Higgins drove in four runs and JT Arruda, the redshirt sophomore shortstop out of Buchanan High, had four hits including a home run.

Friday was a pitching show for the Bulldogs, as Ryan Jensen (14 strikeouts) and Davis Moore (11 strikeouts) each matched career-highs. Jensen threw a three-hit shutout.

Saturday, Fresno State scored nine in the sixth inning to rally for the 13-7 win.

The Bulldogs host Cal State Bakersfield in a Tuesday nonconference game before heading to San Jose.

Softball

The Bulldogs (27-14, 5-7) climbed one spot in the MW standings to seventh; a sweep would’ve vaulted them into a tie for fourth.

Fresno State stranded runners in scoring position in five innings Sunday, wasting a mostly stellar outing by freshman pitcher Danielle Lung out of Clovis High. She left with two outs in the eighth after Nevada got three hits, two walks (one intentional) and a hit batter off Lung. She was responsible for all four runs in the inning.

Saturday, Hailey Dolcini got her fifth shutout of the season in a 6-0 Bulldogs win. Friday, Lung allowed one hit in four scoreless innings and Fresno State won 10-2 in five innings on the mercy rule.

The Bulldogs play Thursday-Saturday at Utah State.

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