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Diamond ‘Dogs lose their first series of the season to San Jose State

San+Jose+State+outfielder+Sebastian+Orduno+slides+to+base+at+Pete+Beiden+Field+at+Bob+Bennett+Stadium+on+April+20.
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
San Jose State outfielder Sebastian Orduno slides to base at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium on April 20.

Entering its weekend series against San Jose State, Fresno State’s baseball team held a 14-4 conference record and had yet to lose a series.

However, the Spartans came into Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium and swept the Diamond ‘Dogs, extending their losing streak to five games.

Fresno State’s pitching struggled to keep the ball in the park, surrendering 10 home runs in the three games.

San Jose State 6, Fresno State 4 (April 19)

Bulldog starting pitcher Jake Dixon only recorded one out in the first inning as the Spartans tallied six runs.

After starting the season with a 2.23 ERA across his first six games, Dixon has struggled over his last four games with a 9.95 ERA.

San Jose State scored all six of its runs on a pair of three-run homers. The first came from left fielder Robert Hamchuk.

Three batters later, catcher Matt Spear homered to center field bringing in two more runs. Dixon was removed from the game after hitting the next batter.

The six runs by the Spartans were the only runs they’d score the rest of the game. The Bulldog’s bullpen stymied the Spartans as they recorded 17 strikeouts in 8.2 shutout innings.

Fresno State pitcher Jaykob Acosta came in following Dixon and was dominant on the mound. Acosta allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out eight in 5.1 innings.

Fresno State’s offense was stagnant for most of the game, even while the bullpen kept them in the game.

Bulldog catcher Tyler Davis provided the ‘Dogs with all four of their runs due to a fourth-inning grand slam, cutting the deficit to two. Outside of Davis, who recorded two hits, the rest of the offense tallied only three hits.

The ‘Dogs had the opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth after a leadoff walk by designated hitter Bobby Blandford. However, they were unable to capitalize after Justin Stransky, who pinch-hit for Davis, popped out to first for the first out, and pinch-hitter Marco Pirruccello grounded into a game-ending double play.

San Jose State 12, Fresno State 7 (April 20)

Hamchuk got the Spartans on the board early once again, this time with an RBI single off Bulldog pitcher Noah Beal.

San Jose State’s lead was short-lived, as Fresno State left fielder Rocco Peppi smashed a solo homer to left field to even the score at one apiece.

After a scoreless second inning, Blandford started off the third inning for the ‘Dogs with a triple and scored one batter later after a sacrifice fly by center fielder Michael McKernan.

Peppi wasn’t done. He hit another solo shot in the third inning to give him a team-leading 12th home run.

Bulldog left fielder Rocco Peppi swings at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium on April 20. (Jacqueline Carrillo)

The cheers from the Red Wave only grew as first baseman Tommy Hopfe homered in the next at-bat to give the ‘Dogs a 4-1 lead after three innings.

Fresno State’s lead was temporary, as San Jose State designated hitter Jared Lewis blasted a game-tying three-run home run off of Beal in the top of the fourth.

The ‘Dogs answered back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, with an RBI single from Hopfe and a two-run double from right fielder Grady Morgan.

Those would be the last runs of the game for Fresno State.

The Spartans added two runs in the seventh, cutting the Bulldogs’ lead to 7-6. They would take the lead two batters into the eighth inning after a two-run homer from third baseman Nathan Cadena.

San Jose State scored four more in the ninth to finish off a 12-7 victory.

San Jose State 9, Fresno State 2 (April 21)

The Spartans built off their strong ending of the last game scoring two runs in the first inning on a pair of solo homers from center fielder Sebastian Orduno and Hamchuk off Bulldog starter Jake Riding.

Fresno State cut the score to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single from McKernan.

Just as they had all series, the Spartans had a quick response with a two-run homer from first baseman Hunter Dorraugh.

Despite surrendering four runs, Riding allowed just three hits, all of which were home runs.

San Jose State put the game out of reach in the eighth and ninth innings, where it scored five runs.

Fresno State scratched across one run in the bottom of the ninth to make it 9-2.

The ‘Dogs were unable to solve Spartan starting pitcher Ethan Ross, who twirled eight innings of two-run ball.

Even though Fresno State outhit San Jose State 9-7, it struggled to hit with runners on, finishing just 3-for-22 (.143) in those situations.

Fresno State remains in first place in the Mountain West at 14-7.

The ‘Dogs will return home looking to snap the five-game losing streak on Tuesday, April 23 against California State University, Northridge.

Following the single game, they will head to Washington to take on Washington State.

The team is expecting the return of pitcher Jack Anker. Anker last pitched on March 30 and boasts a perfect 5-0 record with a 2.13 ERA.

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