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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Fresno Grizzlies hit their way to a win in home opening game

Outfielder+Felix+Tena+swings+on+April+9+at+Chukchansi+Park.+
Wyatt Bible/The Collegian
Outfielder Felix Tena swings on April 9 at Chukchansi Park.

For the home opener game of the season, 7,153 fans filled the ballpark for a night of hits, runs, food and fireworks at Chukchansi Park to watch the Fresno Grizzlies battle against the Inland Empire 66ers.

Although thousands of fans attended, this was one of the lowest attendance numbers for a home opener game since 2012.

But the Grizzlies didn’t disappoint. They extended their winning streak to four games after beating the 66ers 11-8 on Tuesday night.

They entered this game with a 3-0 record, defeating the San Jose Giants on April 5-7.

The Grizzlies took on the field first with Albert Pacheco on the pitcher’s mound.

The 66ers left fielder Kevyn Castillo singled to shortstop for an RBI after two consecutive outs to take a 1-0 lead.

The 66ers ended the first inning by holding the Grizzlies to no score.

Alberto Pacheco pitches on April 9 at Chukchansi Park. (Wyatt Bible)

After a scoreless second inning, the 66ers picked up where they started. Third baseman Caleb Bartolero doubled down left field to bring in one run. The 66ers remained on top by 2 runs, beginning the third inning with the lead.

Fans booed at the 66ers pitcher Riley Bauman as he hit two back-to-back batters. The negative chants quickly turned into cheers and claps after Bauman walked first baseman Aidan Longwell, loading up the three bases for the Grizzlies.

The pitching slump continued for Bauman, walking yet another player and giving the Grizzlies a free run, making the score 2-1.

Trailing by 1-run with no outs in the bottom of the third inning, Grizzlies shortstop Andy Perez hit a line drive to center field for 2 RBIs. Fans rose to their feet, clapping as they saw the scoreboard change, 4-2.

Bauman walked another batter, forcing the 66ers to switch pitchers. Will Christophersen took on the job, however, this didn’t stop the Grizzlies’ momentum.

The 66ers couldn’t hold up defensively, allowing five more runs. The Grizzlies remained on top 9-2 to end the third inning.

Down by seven runs, the 66ers were able to bring in one run off a throwing error by Longwell.

Grizzlies right fielder Felix Tena matched the energy by bringing in an RBI. Just two pitches later, the Grizzlies scored once again on a home base steal off of a wild pitch.

The 66ers closed out the fourth inning trailing 11-3.

With bases loaded, a grand slam by 66ers catcher Juan Flores cut the deficit to 11-7. Another run was scored off of an error by Perez.

Both teams remained scoreless for the remainder of the game, closing out with the 66ers falling short, 11-8.

The Grizzlies are now 4-0 overall and will stay home to play the second game of the series against the Inland Empires today, April 10, at 6:50 p.m. at Chukchansi Park. Tickets can be purchased on the Grizzlies’ website.

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