Fresno State Baseball: Diamond ‘Dogs Headed To Stanford Regional
The Mountain West champions are back on the road to the College World Series for the first time since 2012.
A tough road ahead.
After slugging their way through the Mountain West baseball championship in a clean sweep, the Fresno State Bulldogs discovered their next destination on Monday morning.
Mike Batesole’s squad will head to Palo Alto, where the Stanford Cardinal will play host to the ‘Dogs as well as UC Santa Barbara and Sacramento State. After finishing the season with a 38-14-1 record, which has helped the team climb to #21 in Baseball America’s top 25 and includes just one loss since April 28, Fresno State is the 3-seed but will face a tall task in emerging from an all-California regional.
Here’s what you need to know about each of Fresno State’s potential opponents, as well as how to watch.
STANFORD REGIONAL: Friday, May 13 to Monday, June 3
WHERE: Klein Field at Sunken Diamond; Palo Alto, CA (4,000)
WEBSITES: GoBulldogs.com, the official Fresno State athletics website | GoStanford.com, the official Stanford athletics website | UCSBGauchos.com, the official UC Santa Barbara athletics website | HornetSports.com, the official UNLV athletics website
#1 STANFORD CARDINAL (41-11, 22-7 Pac-12)
The perennial power out of the Pac-12 had another strong season, and while they weren’t on the same level as UCLA this spring, well… no one was, so that’s not a huge deal.
On the mound, Erik Miller and Brendan Beck both averaged over a strikeout per inning. The lineup might be the deepest in the regional, though, as three hitters — first baseman Andrew Daschbach, designated hitter Will Matthiessen, and outfield Brandon Wulff — reached double-digit homers while three others — Duke Kinamon, Kyle Stowers, and Maverick Handley — had at least eleven stolen bases.
On the whole, eight of nine regulars posted an on-base percentage of at least .363, meaning that there are no easy outs anywhere.
#2 uc santa barbara gauchos (45-9, 19-5 big west)
The Gauchos have been sensational all season long, claiming their first Big West crown since 1986 while climbing to #13 in Baseball America’s most recent top 25. UCSB missed out on the chance to potentially host their own regional by dropping two of three in their final series, so there’s a good chance they’ll be motivated to right that wrong.
They have three hitters who posted an OPS above 1.000 — catcher Eric Yang, outfielder Armani Smith, and designated hitter Thomas Rowan — and a trio of starting pitchers, Ben Brecht and Jack Dashwood and Rodney Boone, who combined for 271 strikeouts over 256 2/3 innings this spring. Needless to say, the Gauchos are probably a tough out for every team in this regional.
#4 sacramento state hornets (39-23, 18-9 WAC)
You can’t say that the Hornets didn’t earn their way into the tournament, having won six straight elimination games for the WAC championship. Catcher Dawsen Bacho and outfielder Matt Smith will anchor a capable lineups with 42 extra base hits between them, while Scott Randall (2.50 ERA, 75-to-31 strikeout-to-walk ratio) and Parker Brahms (4.52 ERA, 85 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings) will look to give Sac State a chance to hang around on the mound.