June 18, 2008
Fresno State continues to roll
Bulldogs are one win away from CWS
Brilliant Bulldog Bullpen, Part Two
Quiet Tar Heel Bats
By Phil Stanton
OMAHA, Neb. – They weren’t expected to be
Fresno State wasn’t supposed to be able win the
Long Beach Regional as a No. 4 seed. The Bulldogs weren’t
supposed to beat No. 3 Arizona State twice in the Tempe Super
Regional. And they weren’t expected to keep that winning going
at the College World Series.
But Fresno State is one victory away from a spot
in the Championship Series after a 5-3 win over No. 2 North
Carolina Tuesday evening in front of 23,314 at Rosenblatt
Stadium to stay undefeated in Bracket Two.
The Tar Heels (52-13) will face No. 7 LSU on
Thursday at 7 p.m. ET in an elimination game. The winner will
meet Fresno State on Friday at 7 p.m. and would have to beat the
Bulldogs twice to reach the Championship Series.
“These guys have decided long ago that they’re
not going to play who’s in the other dugout or the name across
the uniform,” said FS head coach Mike Batesole, “they’re just
going to play baseball. It’s been fun for me as a coach to go
out and watch them do it.”
Fresno State struck first as Ryan Overland hit a
two-out homer in the second, his fourth, to give the Bulldogs a
The momentum shifted in the bottom of the third.
Fresno State has runners on first and second with one out. Erik
Wetzel struck out swinging and UNC catcher Tim Federowicz picked
off Gavin Hedstrom at first for the inning-ending double play.
UNC carried that momentum into the fourth. Kyle
Shelton led off with a single to left. Tim Fedroff tripled over
the head of centerfielder Hedstrom to plate Shelton with the
tying run. One out later, Kyle Seager doubled to left to bring
home Fedroff. Seager scored on a base hit by Chad Flack to give
the Tar Heels a 3-1 advantage.
The Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the frame
as Steve Susdorf led off with a dinger, his 12th, to pull Fresno
State to within one at 3-2.
Momentum swung back to the Bulldogs in the fifth.
In the top of the stanza, UNC loaded the bases with one out, but
did not score. Alan Ahmady’s two-run single in the bottom of the
inning pushed FS back on top 4-3.
The Tar Heels had a leadoff double in the sixth
by Mark Fleury, but he would not advance.
Fresno State missed a pair of scoring chances,
loading the bases with no outs in the sixth and putting two on
with none away in the seventh, only to come away empty. The
Bulldogs did add an insurance run in the eighth as Danny Muno
singled to reach base for the fifth time. He was sacrificed to
second and scored on a base hit by Wetzel to make it 5-3.
Fresno State’s bullpen combined to pitch five
scoreless innings with four hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
Jason Breckley (3-2) earned the win and Brandon Burke worked the
final 1.1 innings to record his 13th save.
“Fresno State certainly outplayed us and
out-executed us,” said UNC head coach Mike Fox. “I really like
the way they play. For a depleted pitching staff, they pitched
pretty well tonight. They matched up when they needed to in the
middle of the game and their relievers got it done, made some
big pitches. We couldn’t get the big hit, couldn’t get the
two-out hit, which I think you have to on this stage to advance.
My hat’s off to Fresno State. We’ll regroup and try again on
The freshman Muno was 3 for 3 in the leadoff spot
for Fresno State. He walked once, was hit by a pitch, and scored
once. Wetzel also had three hits for the Bulldogs with one run
and one RBI.
Shelton, Fedroff, Flack and Williams each had a
pair of hits for the Tar Heels.