Jesse Medrano tripled to drive in the go-ahead runs as part of a four-run eighth as Fresno State rallied for a 6-3 win against Air Force on Saturday at Beiden Field.
Fresno State (19-8, 8-3) will aim for its first three-game conference sweep of the season during Sunday’s finale. First pitch is 1:05 p.m. Air Force (13-7, 4-3) began the series as the Mountain West front-runner.
The game started and played out as a pitchers’ duel with the Mountain West’s top ERA leaders on the hill as Air Force ace Griffin Jax faced Fresno State’s Jimmy Lambert.
Jax, who was 5-1 with a 0.88 ERA entering the game, gave up three hits, a walk and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Lambert, who was 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA, scattered six hits while allowing three runs (two earned).
3 Bunts placed down by Fresno State during its four-run eighth inning, including a bunt by Austin Guibor that tied the game.
The Bulldogs turned to small ball tactics to spark their rally after trailing 3-2 going into the eighth.
Senior Brody Russell placed down a bunt for a single then advanced to third on an Aaron Arruda single down the left-field line. Then Austin Guibor tied it with a run-scoring bunt.
Medrano, who finished 1 for 4, followed with an opposite-field hit to right, then scored on a throwing error by the pitcher after Ryan Dobson bunted.
Bulldogs lefty reliever Dylan Lee pitched a perfect ninth to nail down the save.
AIR FORCE AT FRESNO STATE
- Today: 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Beiden Field
- Records: Bulldogs 19-8, 8-3 Mountain West; Falcons (13-7, 4-3)
- Radio: KFIG (AM 940)