Fresno State’s undefeated and historic start to the regular season ended Sunday evening, as host San Diego State rallied with three runs in the eighth inning to beat the Bulldogs 5-4 in a Mountain West series finale.
The Bulldogs (11-1, 2-1) were just one of three undefeated teams remaining in Division I. The Aztecs (2-10, 1-2) snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Fresno State led 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth, six outs from what would have been the program’s best start in school history. But the Aztecs loaded the bases on a wild pitch and a fielding error that sandwiched a Dean Nevarez single.
With the tying run at second and the go-ahead run at first, San Diego State tied the score on Niko Navarro’s single to right. Bulldogs closer Tim Borst hit the next batter, and Justin Wylie drove in the go-ahead run on a single to right.
“We knew it was going to be a defensive game today and was going to come down to who played a better defensive game,” said coach Mike Batesole. “We will be ready to go tomorrow at Long Beach State, but to be able to win two out of three on the road at the team that has been the class of the Mountain West the past three years should be feeling pretty good.”
Fresno State came back from a 2-0 deficit in the seventh on Brody Russell’s two-run single and a bases-loaded walk. The offense ended there as the Aztecs brought in closer Jacob Erickson, who silenced the Bulldogs, retiring all seven batters he faced in order.
Fresno State plays next at Long Beach State in a single nonconference game at 6 p.m. Monday.