Diamond ‘Dogs lose 3 straight in series against Air Force


Diego Vargas/The Collegian

Victor Arreola pitches for the Bulldogs.

By Dylan Gonzales, Reporter

Fresno State came into its series against Air Force with four straight series, including a victory over No. 9 ranked UC Santa Barbara. 

However, the Bulldogs lost all three games against the Falcons, losing five consecutive games. 

The Bulldogs’ starting pitching rotation has contributed to the team’s previous winning streak. But as Fresno State relies on its pitches, it falls with them as they underperform this series.

During the win streak, the Bulldogs had a 9-3 record in games started by Ixan Henderson, Jake Dixon and Roman Angelo. Over that span, the trio posted a combined 3.69 ERA, where the median ERA for the Mountain West conference games is 6.10. 

However, against Air Force, the three had a 10.95 ERA. 

Fresno State 5, Air Force  10 (April 6)

The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when the Falcons scored four runs on Henderson. Two of those were scored on a triple and two more on a home run. 

Air Force added another pair in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead. The Bulldogs got on the board in the top of the sixth on a solo homer by right fielder Grady Morgan. They scored again in the next inning after left fielder Bobby Blandford scored on a groundout. 

Entering the bottom of the seventh with a score of 6-2,the Falcons put the game out of reach for the ‘Dogs as they scored four more runs across the next two innings. These runs would be made off of Bulldog relief pitchers Victor Arreola and Robbie Peters. 

The Bulldogs scored three runs in the top of the ninth on a 2-run home run from first baseman Marco Pirruccello and a solo home run from designated hitter Tommy Hopfe. 

The three home runs in this game are the most the ‘Dogs have hit in a game all season. 

Henderson got the loss and his record fell to 3-2. 

Murf Gray, 2-time Mountain West Freshman of the Week, had a multi-hit game, which was his fourth consecutive game with two or more hits. 

Fresno State 4, Air Force 13 (April 7)

In his second shortest outing of the year, Dixon lasted only 2.2 innings and allowed a season-high six earned runs. Dixon’s record dropped to 3-3.

Air Force took an early 7-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. The Falcons batted around the lineup as 10 hitters came to the plate in the inning. 

Gray drove in the first two runs of the game for Fresno State with a 2-run single in the top of the third inning. 

Air Force scored a run in the third on a single after Dixon was taken out for Trevor Garcia. However, the run was charged to Dixon. 

Garcia provided 4.1 innings out of the bullpen. Over his time on the mound he only allowed one run. 

The score remained 9-2 until the bottom of the eighth when the Falcons scored four runs on Bryce Armstrong. 

The Bulldogs added two runs in the top of the ninth on a double from Sammy Augustine and a bases-loaded walk from Blake Wink. Air Force came out on top 13-4

Fresno State 3, Air Force 4 (April 8)

Much like the first games, the Falcons got an early 2-0 lead on a single and a walk off by Angelo. 

Fresno State cut the score in half in the top of the third inning after Blandford hit an RBI single. The 1-run deficit was short lived as Air Force scored in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-1 lead. 

The ‘Dogs tied the score at 3-3 in the top of the fifth with two solo home runs. The first came off the bat of catcher Tyler Davis and the second from Blandford. 

The Falcons scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth on a single against pitcher Jack Anker. Anker received his first loss of the season. 

After allowing a season-high four runs in his previous outing, Hopfe pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

The Bulldogs’ record is now 15-15 overall and 7-7 in the Mountain West. They will now head home and take on Long Beach State on April 11 for one game. They will then face San Diego State from April 14-16 for three games. 

Fresno State lost against Long Beach State, 10-6, during their last matchup on March 22. San Diego State has the best winning percentage in the conference at 7-3.