Diamond ‘Dogs put on a slugfest in final conference matchup


Marcos Acosta/The Collegian

Diamond ‘Dog Roman Angelo pitches for Fresno State earlier this season on Feb. 26.

By Valentina Saldaña, Sports Editor

After beating UNLV in a dominant Game 1, Fresno State closed off its last Mountain West series in a winning sweep against the Hustlin’ Rebels. 

The ‘Dogs finished fourth in the Mountain West Conference with a 16-14 conference record. Fresno State also swept all three of the weekly Mountain West honors. 

Diamond ‘Dog Roman Angelo recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts during Game 2 and held UNLV to an average of .100, earning him Mountain West pitcher of the week. 

Fresno State’s Grady Morgan earned player of the week having an impressive run at the plate during the series. He led the team with a slugging percentage of 1.063. 

Murf Gray earned his sixth freshman of the week accolade this season. He posted a walk, three RBIs and four hits against UNLV. 

Fresno State 10, UNLV 1 (May 13)

Morgan set the tone for the game in the first inning with a home run to right field. The ‘Dogs held the Hustlin’ Rebels scoreless in the first and second inning, allowing them to get a head start on the board. 

The slugfest started in the second inning with Marco Pirruccello, run in by Ben Newton, bringing in the second run of the game. He was followed by Bobby Blandford after Tyler Davis hit a ground out. 

Travis Welker’s hit to right field landed him on second base and ran in Newton, extending the lead 4-0. Morgan stepped up to the plate and homered into right field, bringing him and Welker to home plate and making it 6-0. 

Both teams went scoreless in the third inning. 

At the top of the fourth, the Hustlin’ Rebels posted their sole run of the game. Jacob Sharp opened the inning with a single and then made his way to second off of a throwing error. Edraian Williams flew out to center, advancing Sharp to third. Sharp then ran in after Kade Higgins hit to center field. 

Fresno State still led 6-1. 

The Diamond ‘Dogs also added runs in the fourth by Davis and Welker, making their lead a 7-point differential. 

In the fifth and sixth inning neither team scored. 

The action wrapped up in the seventh inning when Fresno State hit two home runs. Blandford hit the first one into right center and was followed by Newton who homered to right field. That is Blandford’s sixth homerun of the season and Newton’s third. 

Fresno State 8, UNLV 5 (May 14)

Both teams got the action started in the first inning. Hustlin’ Rebel Alex Pimentel was run in by Sharp after hitting a single into center field, scoring the first point of the game. 

Once Fresno State was at bat, Morgan got hit by a pitch, advancing him to first base. He then moved forward to second base via Nikoh Mitchell’s ground out. 

Tommy Hopfe earned the RBI as he singled to left field and brought in Morgan. Hopfe also brought in a run of his own after Marco Pirruccello hit a double, making the score 2-1. 

The Hustlin’ Rebels tied the game in the top of the second and kept the Diamond ‘Dogs scoreless in the bottom. Gianni Horvat ran in Paul Myro with a center field-fly out, 2-2.

Fresno State then took the lead in the third inning, putting up two runs on the board. First, Mitchell got on base with a single to right field. Murf Gray then singled to left field, advancing Mitchell to second. Hopfe posted up two more RBIs with his hit, running in both Mitchell and Gray, 4-2. 

Rebel Myro came into the fourth inning swinging, earning a run for his team with a homer. 

In the fifth, both teams earned a run each. Pimentel brought in his second run of the game on a fielder’s choice. Gray also earned his second run of the game making it a 1-point game. 

It remained a close game in the seventh inning. Sharp was run in by Santino Panaro which made it a tie game at 5-5. Hopfe then gave the Diamond ‘Dogs the momentum it needed to close out the series, hitting a home run down right field. 

The Diamond ‘Dogs continued the offensive hot streak with two more runs in the bottom of the eighth by Welker and Davis, securing the win, 8-5.

On the mound, the win went to Victor Arreola whose record is now 2-2. The loss went to UNLV’s Noah Carabajal which makes his record 1-8. 

Fresno State will play four non-conference games before competing in the Mountain West Championship from May 25-28. It’ll face Cal Poly on May 16 and then compete in a 3-game series against Saint Mary’s college from May 18-22.