Luplow Returns, But 'Dogs Fall Late to Rebels

April 5, 2013

Box Score

By Andrew Rich & @StephenTrembley

FRESNO, Calif. - Jordan Luplow returned to the Fresno State lineup in a big way on Friday night. Playing for the first time since injuring his shoulder on March 3 against USC, the sophomore hit two ground-rule doubles and drove in two runs in his comeback, but it wasn't enough as the 'Dogs fell 9-8 in the series opener to UNLV.

"I think that was our first comeback of the season. That was exciting. Guys are being aggressive on the bases and aggressive at the plate," Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole said. "That was fun to have a comeback like that, we haven't had one of those all year."

Fresno State (7-19, 2-6 Mountain West) got to the Rebels' starting pitcher Erick Fedde early. Fedde, who entered the game 4-0 with a 2.06 ERA, gave up three runs in the first two innings, and the Bulldogs' sophomore shortstop Chris Mariscal played a key role in the early rallies. He led off the game with a sharp single to centerfield and eventually would score on a single by Trent Garrison. Then in the second, Mariscal roped another single up the middle to drive in Taylor Temple to give the `Dogs a 3-0 lead after two innings.

After giving up five runs in the 6th and 7th innings combined to fall behind 6-3, Fresno State mounted a rally.

The scoring started in the bottom of the 7th when Luplow hit his first ground-rule double to drive in Jake Alvarez and cut the deficit to 6-4. Then it was Mariscal's turn again and he drove a pitch to the right-center gap to drive in Luplow and make it 6-5.

Back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the 8th by Austin Wynns and Kevin Viers put runners on the corners. Viers was thrown out trying to steal second for the second out, but Temple was able to work a walk to create another runners-on-the-corners situation for pinch-hitter Kevin Ward. With a full count and two outs, Ward lined a double down the left-field line to drive in Wynns and Temple to give the `Dogs a 7-6 lead. Luplow then drilled a ball deep to the right-center gap for his second ground-rule double in as many innings and the `Dogs had an 8-6 lead going to the 9th.

UNLV (21-8, 6-4 MW) got a 2-RBI double from Mark Shannon to tie the game at eight in the top of the ninth. Shannon advanced to third on a ball in the dirt, Wynns' throw to Viers appeared to be there on time, but Shannon just snuck in under the tag. Bryan Bonnell would hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Shannon and put the Rebels ahead 9-8.

Fresno State starting pitcher Derick Velazquez threw a solid five innings, giving up three runs on six hits.

The `Dogs and Rebels return to Beiden Field for game 2 of the 3-game series Saturday night at 6:35 p.m.

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