Bulldogs Complete Sweep over La Tech

CBB News Sources

Fri. Fresno St. 14 – La Tech 5
Sat. Fresno St. 9 – La Tech 8
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un. Fresno St. 8 – La Tech 0

FRESNO, Calif. – With a strong pitching performance and offense barrage of 42 runs, Fresno State completed a four-game sweep of Louisiana Tech on Sunday afternoon. La Tech managed just five hits against Bulldog pitching on Sunday as Fresno State won 8-0.

The Bulldogs improved their WAC record to 9-3 and due to a San Jose State’s 2-1 win over Sacramento State (15-17, 10-5), Fresno State took sole possession of first place in the league standings.

The Bulldogs are the two-time defending WAC regular season and tournament champions.

With WAC ERA leader Justin Miller getting the start in the final game of the series at Pete Beiden Field, the Fresno State baseball team liked its chances. Miller entered Sunday’s game with a 4-0 record and 1.50 ERA. He also led the WAC in opponents’ batting average at .163.

The Dogs gave Miller run support early with a run in the first inning and two more in the second. That was more than enough for the hard-throwing right hander from Bakersfield, Calif., who won his fifth game of the season allowing just two hits and striking out a career-high nine batters. Miller improved his season ERA to 1.29. Brandon Burke took over for Miller in the seventh inning and finished the game with three strikeouts and allowing three hits.

Fresno State’s first run was by centerfielder Gavin Hedstrom, who doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored when Steve Susdorf grounded out two batters later.

In the bottom of the second inning catcher Danny Grubb drove in a pair of runs with one out on a single to left field that brought in Ryan Overland and Tommy Mendonca.

Wetzel scored a run in the fifth winning after reaching on a double and then coming home on a single by first baseman Alan Ahmady.

La Tech threatened in the sixth inning advancing runners to second and third base, but Miller picked up his ninth strikeout, a new career-best, to get out of the inning.

The Dogs added four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take an 8-0 lead. Gavin Hedstrom flew out to straight away centerfield for a sacrifice that scored Steve Detweiler. Two batters later, left fielder Steve Susdorf drilled a single up the middle scoring Erik Wetzel and Danny Muno. That gives Susdorf 170 RBIs in his career, passing Joe Xavier (1982-85) for the No. 2 spot in Bulldog history. Next on the list is all-time record holder Todd Johnson (1990-93) with 200 RBIs.

Susdorf then scored from first base on a double by Ahmady, his ninth double of the season and team-best 41st RBI of the season. Ahmady and Overland led the Dogs with two hits each.

Susdorf owns a 12-game hitting streak and has hits in 14 of his last 15 games.

During the four-game sweep, the Bulldog pitching staff combined for 43 strikeouts. Justin Wilson (11), Tanner Scheppers (12) and Miller (9) each set new career-highs for strikeouts in a game. Scheppers has a WAC-leading 76 strikeouts. He entered the week ranked No. 4 in the NCAA.

The Bulldogs outscored La Tech 42-14 in the series.

Fresno State hits the road next week, starting with a single game at Cal Poly on Tuesday and then travels to Las Cruces, N.M. for a four-game WAC series against New Mexico State (16-19, 5-7). The Aggies lost three-of-four games at Hawaii over the weekend.