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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Center+fielder+Michael+McKernan+rounds+put+to+third+base+off+of+a+hit+on+May+31+at+Cesar+Uyesaka+Stadium.++
Valentina Saldaña/The Collegian
Center fielder Michael McKernan rounds put to third base off of a hit on May 31 at Cesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Diamond ‘Dogs lose to Gauchos in first game of NCAA Regionals

With overcast skies at Cesar Uyesaka Stadium in Santa Barbara, around 2,000 fans filled up the stands with blue and red to support each team for the first day of the NCAA Baseball Regional round.

“It was a great experience, I mean the Red Wave always showing out wherever we are and that’s a big plus for us and Fresno State baseball,” said center fielder Michael McKernan.

Because of the packed stadium, fans stood alongside the fence and on the ground to watch the game.

Red Wave cheers on the Diamond ‘Dogs as they get a run. (Valentina Saldaña)

The Diamond ‘Dogs lost to the Gauchos, 9-6 on May 31.

“We had a lot of really good chances early against one of the best pitchers in the country and it comes down to two-out hits and obviously they got a little more,” said Head Coach Ryan Overland.

Opening up the game, Fresno State started off hitting, getting two runners on base, but with a fly ball to left field third baseman Murf Gray ended the inning, 0-0.

The Gauchos didn’t stay down. Fans in blue and yellow stood up with both hands up as they saw left fielder Jessada Brown homer to center field to take the first lead of the game, 1-0.

At the top of the second inning, Bulldog shortstop Ben Newton hit a line drive right down center field tallying up two RBIs. The ‘Dogs took over the lead, 2-1.

“There’s no question we have to come out and fight for our life every game, you know we can’t take these games for granted,” Newton said. “There’s hundreds of teams that would want to be in our seats, even right now.”

With two batters on base and two outs, Beal held strong on the mound to get a strikeout and close the second inning.

After a scoreless third inning, the wind began to pick up but it wasn’t a test factor for the Gauchos.

Pitcher Jake Riding took on the pitcher’s mound for the ‘Dogs in place of Beal at the bottom of the third.

With bases loaded and no outs, the fans cheered and stomped, “Let’s go Gauchos.”

The energy began to shift in Santa Barbara with a fly ball to left field by first baseman Zander Darby that brought in the tying run for the Gauchos.

Shortly after, Brown homered again, bringing in three runs to get on top. The Gauchos led 5-2 to close out the fourth inning.

Third baseman, Justin Tremble, continued the momentum for Santa Barbara with a double to bring in an RBI. The Gauchos extended the advantage, 6-2.

Although the ‘Dogs trailed, they continued to fight. At the top of the sixth inning, McKernan brought in an RBI, 6-3.

Aaron Parker slammed the Gaucho’s third home run of the day to left field to take a four-run lead.

Gaucho players raise hats to the air and celebrate at home plate after home run. (Valentina Saldaña)

The seventh inning stayed scoreless but the Diamond ‘Dogs broke the streak with an RBI by second baseman Eddie Saldivar and a steal by Newton.

Right after Saldivar made his way to home plate, cutting the deficit to three runs.

The Gauchos had one last chance to remain dominant on defense and close out the game. They did just that.

The ‘Dogs were unable to come back, falling short to the Gauchos 9-6.

“Our guys fought the whole way,” Overland said.

The Diamond ‘Dogs will take on the University of San Diego on June 1 at 1 p.m. at Cesar Uyesaka Stadium.

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About the Contributor
Alexis Bruno
Alexis Bruno, Managing Editor
Alexis Bruno is class of 2025 and the Sports Editor for The Collegian. Alexis has been writing for The Collegian since 2023 and specializes in writing sports. Alexis is an MCJ broadcasting major and wants to pursue a career in sports sideline reporting.
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