June 16, 2008


Bulldogs Continue Upsetting Trend

Fresno State pounds Rice in Game 3 of College World Series

Bulldogs, Synonymous with Underdogs

 Tough, But Not Impossible

By Ben Trittipoe



OMAHA, Neb. – On Day 2 of the 2008 College World Series, the trend of designated visiting teams coming out victorious continued.


But Fresno State did not need the late-inning heroics shown by Stanford and Georgia on the first day. The Bulldogs jumped on Rice pitching early and often and cruised to a 17-5 victory over the Owls before 18,108 in Game 3 Sunday afternoon at Rosenblatt Stadium.


Fresno State (43-29) advanced to a winners' bracket contest against either North Carolina or LSU at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Rice (47-14) fell into the losers’ bracket and will face the UNC-LSU loser Monday at 2 p.m. ET.


The 17 runs scored by the Bulldogs were the most allowed this season by Rice, and the most in a College World Series game since Tennessee defeated Georgia, 19-12, in 2001. The total also marked the second time a team had put up as many as 16 runs in the first three games of the 2008 CWS.


Fresno State pounded out 13 hits against seven Rice pitchers. Danny Muno, Alan Ahmady, Jordan Ribera and Tommy Mendonca each hit home runs to lead the Bulldogs’ onslaught. Muno contributed five runs batted in, while Ahmady and Ribera each added three.


“We played aggressive today,” Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said. “The last thing we wanted to do was let the game come to us. We had some great two-strike at-bats [the Bulldogs had 14 RBI with two-strike counts] against a great pitcher. I was pleased we didn’t give away any at-bats.”


“This was not exactly what we had hoped for,” Rice head coach Wayne Graham said. “Most teams don’t hit that well in batting practice. Every time we made a bad pitch, they drove it. They were able to capitalize on everything. It was a great day for Fresno, a bad day for the Owls.”


The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard with four unearned runs in the top of the second inning. With two on and one out, Steve Detwiler reached on an error to load the bases. One out later, Muno delivered a two-run single and Gavin Hedstrom followed with a two-run double for a 4-0 lead.


“Once we scored, everyone got relaxed,” Muno said. “The big key was scoring first. Once we accomplished that, we could tackle other jobs.”


Fresno State broke the game open with seven runs in the fourth to take an 11-0 lead. Muno hit his third home run of the season for the first three runs, and Ahmady capped the inning with a three-run blast of his own for his 13th long ball of the year.


The Bulldogs continued their scoring with five runs in the sixth. Detwiler had a two-run single before Ribera slugged another three-run homer, his fourth, to straightaway center field. Mendonca’s 16th homer, a solo shot, capped the scoring in the eighth.


Rice broke up the shutout as Chad Mozingo scored on Jared Gayhart’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth. The Owls added a run in the sixth on Jordan Dodson’s RBI-single, then three more in the eighth on Diego Seastrunk’s sixth home run.


Starter Justin Wilson (8-5) picked up the win for Fresno State with seven solid innings on the mound, allowing two runs on eight hits. Ryan Berry (8-5) took the loss for Rice, allowing nine runs (five earned) on seven hits in 3.1 innings.