Diamond ‘Dogs split series against Spartans


Valentina Saldaña/The Collegian

Trevor Garcia pitches for the Diamond ‘Dogs during the double-header against the Spartans, on April 22.

By Dylan Gonzales, Reporter

Facing the top team in the Mountain West, Fresno State won two out of the four games in its 4-game series against San Jose State. 

Bulldog outfielder Nikoh Mitchell hit two home runs, with one coming in each game of the double-header. Up until April 22, Mitchell hadn’t hit a home run since March 7.

“It felt really good, I haven’t been too consistent at the plate. I picked up on a couple of things I drifted away from at the plate,” Mitchell told The Collegian following Game 2.

Since losing seven straight games, the ‘Dogs have now won five out of seven and are 20-19 overall.

“The results don’t always show, but the good energy has been picking up and that’ll be really nice to have moving forward,” Mitchell said. 

With the series split the ‘Dogs are tied for third in the Mountain West at 11-10. 

Bulldog Murf Gray hits his fifth home run of the season. (Valentina Saldaña/The Collegian)

Fresno State 1, San Jose State 2 (April 21) 

The first game of the four-game series was a pitchers duel between two of the top strikeout pitchers in the Mountain West: Bulldog Ixan Henderson and Spartan Jonathan Clark. 

The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when Tommy Hopfe gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead with a solo homer off Clark, which gave him three homers in a four game span. 

San Jose State answered with a solo homer of its own off of Henderson by first baseman Hunter Dorraugh. 

Both pitchers allowed one run the entire game. 

Henderson was back to his dominance on the mound with a 7-inning, one run performance. He also struck out eight hitters and gave up only one walk.

Once Clark exited the game after 6.2 innings, the Bulldogs offense did not record a hit for the rest of the game as the Spartans’ relievers combined for 3.1 shutout innings.

For the ‘Dogs, Zach Statzer pitched two scoreless innings after coming in for Henderson.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Spartans hit a walk-off double off Bulldog pitcher Jack Anker. The loss was Anker’s third of the season.

Bulldog Ben Newton running in after a home run from Nikoh Mitchell. (Valentina Saldaña/The Collegian)

Game 1: Fresno State 4, San Jose State 1 (April 22)

The Bulldogs received another great outing from their starter Roman Angelo. 

Angelo pitched 6.2 innings and allowed only one run. Over his last two starts Angelo has only given up one run in 14.2 innings.

Angelo also took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. 

The Bulldogs struggled offensively until the eighth inning. 

Trailing 1-0, Nikoh Mitchell hit a game-tying solo home run. The ‘Dogs added three more runs that inning with RBI’s from Hopfe, Marco Pirruccello and Bobby Blandford. 

Hopfe closed out the game for the ‘Dogs in the ninth inning and he picked up his eighth save of the year. 

Robbie Peters got the win as he pitched 1.1 scoreless innings after coming in for Angelo.

The Fresno State baseball team celebrates with Mitchell after bringing in two runs with his homer. (Valentina Saldaña/The Collegian)

Game 2: Fresno State 8, San Jose State 3 (April 22)

After struggling offensively during the first two games, the Bulldogs offense scored eight runs and hit three home runs. 

Mitchell, Murf Gray and Grady Morgan all hit home runs.

The Spartans got the scoring started with a long two-run homer in the first inning off of Bulldog starter Trevor Garcia. 

The game remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth inning when Fresno State put five runs on the board, including two-run home runs from Mitchell and Morgan, and an RBI single from Hopfe. 

The ‘Dogs piled on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth after a towering home run from Gray, hitting his sixth of the season.

San Jose State added one more run in the sixth inning, cutting the deficit to 7-3. Fresno State got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning after Pirruccello scored on a wild pitch. 

Garcia picked up his third win of the season after pitching six solid innings and giving up three runs. Garcia was also able to minimize traffic on the basepaths as he only allowed four hits and two walks. 

Victor Arreola recorded the save as he came in for Garcia and pitched masterfully over three shutout innings, recording five strikeouts and only giving up one hit.

Newton gets a hit against the Spartans. (Valentina Saldaña/The Collegian)

 Fresno State 5, San Jose State 9 (April 23)

After receiving great pitching in the first three games, the Bulldog’s pitchers struggled in the final game of the series.  

The ‘Dogs had a bullpen game in the series finale, as they used seven pitchers. Anker made his first start of the season and pitched three innings. His first two innings were scoreless, but in the third inning he gave up a two-run homer. He also notched a season-high five strikeouts.

In the bottom of the third, the ‘Dogs scored four runs to take a 4-2 lead. Catcher Matt Gonsalves doubled to score Morgan. Gonsalves later scored on a balk by Spartan starter Keaton Chase. Two runs scored on a throwing error by the Spartans after a single by Gray. 

The Spartans tied the game at four in the fifth inning. A single by Dorraugh plated the first run of the inning. The second scored on a balk by Bulldog pitcher Robbie Peters.

San Jose State tacked on two more runs in the eighth off of Statzer to take a 6-4 lead. The first came on a sacrifice fly while the second came on an RBI single from Spartan catcher Matt Spear, who went 4-4 at the plate. 

The Spartans continued their offensive eruption with three runs in the eighth off Hopfe. An RBI single scored the first and then a two-run homer by Dorraugh extended the lead to 9-4. Dorraugh also had a big day at the plate with three hits and three RBIs. With the three runs in the inning the Spartans scored seven unanswered runs. 

Fresno State scored one more run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Sammy Augustine. 

The ‘Dogs will be on the road for the next four games. They will head to the Bay Area for one game against San Francisco on April 26, and then head to Albuquerque for a three game series against New Mexico starting on April 28.

Correction May 1, 2023: 

In a previous version of this article, the headline incorrectly stated the wrong mascot. The Bulldogs split the series against the Spartans.