June 15, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Fresno State baseball team scored 17 runs on 13 hits, including three home runs, to claim a 17-5 win over Rice in the Owls' opening game of the 2008 College World Series Sunday afternoon in Omaha, Neb.
Rice still has some baseball left to play. The Owls will have to battle their way out of the loser's bracket to extend the season past Tuesday (June 17). The Blue & Gray next meets either North Carolina or LSU in its second CWS game on Tuesday at 1 pm. The contest, where the loser is eliminated from the Series, will be televised live on ESPN.
A Rice miscue helped open the door for four big Fresno State runs in the top of the second inning. With runners on first and third and one-away, the Owls mishandled a ground ball on the right side allowing the Bulldogs to load the bases. The Owls retired the next batter with a strikeout that would have otherwise ended the inning, but FSU was still alive and a single up the middle by Danny Muno scored two. A double down the left field line by Gavin Hedstrom plated two more to make it a 4-0 game.
Fresno State was not finished. In the fourth Ryan Overland and Jordan Ribera singled and Muno blasted a three-run home run to right-center field. Muno's third round-tripper of the season and career-high fifth RBI in the game made the score 7-0. A walk and a double off the wall in center field by Erik Wetzel stretched the margin to 8-0. Another three-run homer, this time by Alan Ahmady, made the score 11-0 after just three-and-a-half innings.
Rice got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Chad Mozingo led off with a base hit and senior Jordan Dodson doubled toward the corner in left field to put two men in scoring position. Jared Gayhart lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Mozingo for the run.
The Bulldogs scored five more times in the sixth on just three hits. The big blow was a three-run homer to straight-away centerfield by Ribera for a 16-1 margin.
The Owls scored their second run in the bottom of the frame. Zornes drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single by Jimmy Comerota. Zornes scored on a base hit by Dodson. FSU added one more on a solo home run by Tommy Mendonca in the eighth for its 17th and final run. It is the most runs the Owls allowed in a single game since April 12, 1998.
Rice struck for three in the eighth with the longball. Junior Adam Zornes was hit by a pitch and Comerota reached on a Bulldog fielding error. Sophomore Diego Seastrunk, a member of the all-College World Series a year ago, blasted a three-run shot to right-center field for his sixth homer of the year. Seastrunk, Dodson, Comerota and Gayhart all finished the day with two hits each.
Rice used a total of seven pitchers in the contest. The Owls fell to 47-14 on the season. Fresno State improved to 43-29. The Bulldogs scored the most runs in a CWS game since 2001.