The Fresno State baseball team hit a road block in Stockton, suffering one of its worst losses of the season in a 15-6 defeat against Pacific in Tuesday’s nonconference game.
The loss ended a four-game winning streak for a rising Bulldogs program (20-9) that also had won nine of its last 10 contests, including a 10-5 upset of then-ranked No. 16-ranked Long Beach State, and received votes in this latest D1Baseball.com and National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association polls.
The Bulldogs appeared to start hot against the Tigers (10-16), who entered Tuesday losers of three straight, receiving a two-run homer from Jake Stone in the first inning.
But the offense quickly lost its momentum as Fresno State just hit 4 for 21 with runners on base, 3 for 14 when they were in scoring position, and 2 for 12 with two outs.
Bulldogs starter Anthony Arias lasted just just 2 1/3 innings, giving up five hits, three for extra bases including two home runs. The second homer was a two-run shot by Nate Verlin that saw the Tigers take the lead for good. Verlin finished 3 for 6 with 4 RBIs to lead Pacific.
In the fifth, Pacific continued the rout on middle reliever Brennon Williams, loading the bases with two outs and scoring five runs on an error, walk and Gio Brusa’s bases-clearing double.
The Bulldogs’ Austin Guibor hit a two-run triple in the seventh to cut the deficit to 10-6, but it wasn’t enough as Pacific tacked on five runs off Ryan Sullivan.
The nine-run loss was the second largest of the season for the Bulldogs, who fell 13-1 at then-No. 3 Texas A&M on March 13.
Fresno State and Pacific will meet one more time in the regular season, completing the two-game series at Beiden Field on April 12.
Fresno State returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday for a single nonconference game against Sacramento State (17-10, 6-0 Western Athletic Conference). The Hornets are coming off a three-game sweep against Northern Colorado and are winners of eight of their past 10.
Track and field – Fresno State’s Je’Nia Sears’ long jump mark of 20 feet, 9 1/4 inches at the Stanford Invitational last Friday has earned the former Edison High standout the Mountain West women’s outdoor field athlete of the week award, the league announced Tuesday.
Sears won the invite section of the Stanford Invitational with her jump that is also the fourth-best of the NCAA season. She is the first Bulldog to win a track or field athlete of the week award since Fresno State joined the Mountain West three years ago.
Sears’ jump also broke her own Fresno State all-time record of 20-7 set in March 2014.
Air Force pole vaulter Taylor Smith (Buchanan High) was the MW men’s outdoor field athlete of week after clearing a career-best 7-1 at the Stanford Invitational. The clearance is first in the league and 15th in the NCAA this season.
FRESNO STATE VS. SACRAMENTO STATE
- Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. at Beiden Field
- Records: Bulldogs 20-9, 6-0 Mountain West; Hornets 17-10, 6-0 Western Athletic Conference
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network/KFIG (AM 940)