Diamond ‘Dogs take series against New Mexico


Diego Vargas/The Collegian

Nikoh Mitchell bats for the Diamond ‘Dogs on March 18, at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium.

By Alexis Bruno, Reporter

The Fresno State baseball team took two out of three games from New Mexico over the  weekend, defeating the Lobos 5-3 on Friday and 9-8 on Saturday, but losing 7-2 in the finale on Sunday. The Diamond ‘Dogs began the series strong but weren’t able to close out its final game against New Mexico.  

Following the series, Interim Head Coach Ryan Overland explained the change he saw from last year to this year’s Lobos team.   

“They definitely did a good job changing the physicality of their lineup and it’s going to be hard to outscore them,” Overland said.

Victor Arreola pitches for Fresno State against New Mexico. (Diego Vargas/The Collegian)

Fresno State 5, New Mexico 3 (March 17)

The Lobos started off hot with an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. 

The ‘Dogs came back with a five-run inning in the fourth, hitting two singles along with a two-run homer by left fielder Bobby Blandford.

The Lobos got one run in the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the win.

The ‘Dogs closed out Game One defeating the Lobos 5-3.     

Fresno State 9, New Mexico 8 (March 18) 

The scoring started early for the Lobos in the top of the first inning with a wild pitch by Jake Dixon, sending a runner home.

The Bulldogs were quick to respond with an RBI by center fielder Nikoh Mitchell to tie the game up 1-1, closing out the first inning. 

The Lobos stayed aggressive at the plate with a home run by second baseman Devon Dixon. Bases were loaded, earning Dixon four RBIs and giving the Lobos a 5-1 lead.

The Bulldogs did not back down.  An RBI single by shortstop Travis Welker followed by a home run from second baseman Ben Newton left the Bulldogs down one to end the second inning.

After a scoreless third, the Lobos bounced back with a home run to extend their lead to 6-4. Shortly after, a wild pitch by Bulldog Robbie Peters allowed a runner to score, making it 7-4.

Bobby Blandford looks up as he hits against New Mexico. (Diego Vargas/The Collegian)

The crowd went wild as Blandford hit a laser to right field for a three RBI homer to tie the game, 7-7, closing out the sixth inning.   

The Lobos took the lead for the second time, with a single up the middle to bring in a run in the seventh inning, 8-7. 

The Red Wave stood to its feet and chanted, “Let’s go, Bulldogs,” as the ‘Dogs were on the fence at the bottom of the last inning. The bases were loaded as the ‘Dogs were down by one. 

First baseman Tommy Hopfe held up to the pressure on a full count as he hit a single to left field to win the game. 

“We all contributed, and we did our parts to end up coming out with a win,” Hopfe said. 

Fresno State 2, New Mexico 7 (March 19)

Unlike the first two games, the final game of the series started off with an overcast sky and heavy winds, but it didn’t affect the Lobos. 

After a slow first inning, the Bulldogs could not hold the Lobos defensively. A total of three line drives accumulated five RBIs, giving New Mexico the lead in the second inning. 

Although the ‘Dogs trailed, a hit by Welker and overthrown mistakes by the Lobos got the ‘Dogs on the board, 5-2.  

Ben Newton looks toward his team in the dugout after getting on second base. (Diego Vargas/The Collegian)

Bulldog’s pitcher Roman Angelo surpassed his career-high in the fifth inning, totaling eight strikeouts, but that didn’t stop the Lobos from scoring. A single up the middle extended New Mexico’s lead early in the seventh inning, 6-2.

The Lobos concluded the game with a home run to defeat Fresno State, 7-2. 

“Games in March are just as important as they are in May, and I think today was one we are definitely going to look back on and wish we had gotten the third one,” Overland said. 

Fresno State is now in a five-way tie for second place in the Mountain West with an overall record of 10-8 and 4-4 in conference play. They will travel to face off Long Beach State on March 21 at Blair Field.