Fresno State knocked out Hoover High School graduate Logan Handzlik in the third inning, finished with 18 hits and coasted to a 13-4 Mountain West Conference victory over San Jose State at Municipal Stadium on Thursday night.
Brody Russell delivered five hits, five RBIs and three runs, Jake Stone doubled three times, Jesse Medrano drove in three runs and Zach Ashford went 2 for 2 and scored twice, backing the dominant pitching of Ricky Tyler Thomas as the Bulldogs (15-7, 5-2) won their fourth in a row while improving their series lead to 157-82 over the Spartans (6-14, 2-7).
The series will continue Friday at 6 p.m. before closing Saturday at 1 p.m.
Handzlik, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hand sophomore, made eight starts as a freshman in 2014 before missing virtually all of the 2015 season with an injury. Consequently, he still has two years of eligibility after this season.
He arrived Thursday with a 1-0 record and 6.20 ERA in five starts.
But Ashford greeted him with a leadoff single in the first inning, a clue of things to come.
Fresno State scored an unearned run in the first before taking command with a four-run fourth opened by Ashford’s single, Stone’s double, Russell’s two-run single and Aaron Arruda’s double.
Austin Guibor then made it 4-0 with a squeeze bunt, Medrano followed with an RBI double and Handzlik was removed.
Later, the Bulldogs were similarly tough on Hilario Tovar, a sophomore right-hander from Selma. He gave up five hits and three runs in four innings.
Thomas (3-2), a sophomore left-hander from San Diego who is first in the conference and 23rd nationally with 39 strikeouts coming in, gave up five hits in seven scoreless innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Women’s golf – Fresno State finished sixth, 37 strokes behind champion Oklahoma State, at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational women’s golf tournament played over two days this week at the Kane’ohe Klipper course on Marines Corps Base Hawaii.
Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir (76-72-72-220) was the Bulldogs’ top individual, sharing 13th. Texas A&M’s Thanya Pattamakijsakul was the individual champ at 8-under-par 208.
Fresno State’s Kristin Simonsen tied for 21st, with the freshman improving her score each day while posting rounds of 77-74-72 for a 7-over total of 223.
Oklahoma State, ranked 10th by golfstat.com, finished at 4-under 860, tying Texas A&M in the 15-team field, but the Cowgirls won their second consecutive Thompson title and fifth in their history based on the teams’ fifth-place finishers.
The Bulldogs play at the Ole Miss Intercollegiate on April 1-3 in Oxford.
Lacrosse – Junior captain Caroline Dineen-Carlson led the Bulldogs with her eighth career hat trick, but Fresno State fell 15-5 to visiting Drexel in a nonconference match at the Soccer and Lacrosse Field. The Dragons (6-2) broke free with a six-goal flurry that made it 10-3. The Bulldogs (3-6) look to snap an 0-3 start in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play Sunday when they visit San Diego State.
Men’s tennis – A stretch of four matches in as many days got off to a rocky start for the Bulldogs, who were swept 4-0 by No. 22 Tulane on Thursday at Wathen Center. Nationally top-ranked Dominik Koepfer of the now 13-4 Green Wave beat Fresno State’s Euan McIntosh 6-2, 6-2. McIntosh and Mantas Bugailiskis provided the lone early highlight for the Bulldogs when they upset No. 21 Chi-Shan Jao and Koepfer 6-2 in doubles. The Bulldogs (6-9) host Sonoma State at 10 a.m. and Holy Names at 2 p.m. on Friday, then face visiting San Diego State at 11 a.m. Sunday.
BASEBALL: FRESNO STATE AT SAN JOSE STATE
- Friday: 6 p.m. at Municipal Stadium
- Records: Bulldogs 15-7, 5-2 Mountain West; Spartans 6-14, 2-7
- Webcast/radio: Spartan Digital Network (sjsuspartans.com/videos)/KFIG (AM 940)
- Of note: Series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday. Bulldogs return home to face Long Beach State on Tuesday and Air Force in a three-game series next weekend.