MW baseball: San Diego State breezes past Air Force 15-6

The Mountain West Tournament could not have started much better for the Air Force, with first baseman Seth Kline drilling a two-run home run in the top first inning to get the last-place team in the conference a quick lead. But it didn’t take long before the Falcons took a predictable turn … it was the bottom half of the inning.

San Diego State took advantage of three errors – two on one play – to capture the lead and went on to a sloppy 15-6 victory in the first of two games on Wednesday at Beiden Field.

The No. 3-seeded Aztecs (27-28) will play No. 2 UNLV on Thursday at 3 p.m., while Air Force (15-38) will play in an elimination game at 11 a.m. against the loser of the game between Fresno State and Nevada.

In that first inning, Jake Romanski reached on a one-out fielding error by Air Force shortstop Matt Thorne. Tim Zier followed with a single to center and both runners moved up a base when Falcons’ starter Steven Trojan fired a wild pitch, low and away.

Ryan Muno then singled to right, driving in Romanski, and Falcons started throwing the ball all over the diamond and Zier and Munro ended up scoring.

San Diego State added four runs in the third, the big blow a two-run single by John Spirk. And it added four more in the sixth, three coming on a bases-loaded double by Muno.

Zier had four hits for the Aztecs, the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the lineup a combined 9 for 13 with six runs scored and seven RBI.

Phillip Walby went eight innings for the Aztecs, allowing nine hits and five earned runs.

San Diego State Coach Tony Gwynn, after the victory.


Bulldogs’ Judge, Mariscal and Quinn earn all-conference honors

Fresno State center fielder Aaron Judge, who is leading the Bulldogs in every major statistical category and is likely to be a first-round pick next month in the MLB first-year player draft, has been selected first-team All-Mountain West Conference.

Fresno State center fielder Aaron Judge was selected first-team All-Mountain West Conference. He leads the ‘Dogs with 11 home runs.

Sophomore shortstop Chris Mariscal and right-handed pitcher Blake Quinn were selected to the second-team, and Quinn shared freshman of the year honors with New Mexico’s Sam Haggerty.

Judge is hitting .373 going into the MW Tournament – the Bulldogs play Nevada on Wednesday at Beiden Field in the first round, the first-pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. He also leads the ‘Dogs with 72 hits including 15 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs and 35 RBI. He hit a home run last week against Nevada that traveled close to 500 feet, almost reaching the fence along Cedar Avenue.

Mariscal, a Clovis North graduate, is hitting .302 this season with 61 hits including 12 doubles and two home runs.

Quinn, who is starting against Nevada on Wednesday, has been one of the top pitchers in the conference over the past month-plus. The former Bullard High ace is 2-2 over his past six starts, but has allowed only 34 hits and nine earned runs over 35 2/3 innings. His ERA in those six games is 2.27.

Robbie Rouse on the move again, waived by Cleveland Browns

Robbie Rouse turns the corner on a Cal defender to score a touchdown in Fresno State’s 2012 season-opener at Candlestick Park.

Robbie Rouse, the all-time rushing leader in Fresno State history with 4,647 yards, is learning life in the NFL isn’t easy.

The 5-foot-6 running back was waived by the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday, not even two weeks after he was signed as an undrafted free agent.

Rouse was a first-team all-Mountain West Conference selection as a senior, helping lead the Bulldogs to their first conference championship since 1999. He averaged 114.6 yards per game, third best in the conference, and also  had 1,925 all-purpose yards to rank second.



Game times set for Fresno State home games – Aug. 29 opener vs. Rutgers will kickoff at 7 p.m.

Fresno State announced the game times for its six home football games, with three to kickoff at 7 p.m. including the Aug. 29 opener against Rutgers.

The Bulldogs, coming off a Mountain West Conference championship season, will play Cal Poly on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. The Sept. 20 game against Boise State, which is to be televised by ESPN, will start at 6 p.m. The Oct. 19 game against UNLV will kick off at 7 p.m. And the last two games, Nov. 2 against Nevada and Nov. 23 against New Mexico, will start at 4 p.m.

All games are subject to chnage per agreements with the national television carriers in the Mountain West TV package.


Bulldogs’ Jordan Brink earns second MW pitcher of the week award

Fresno State sophomore Jordan Brink has been selected as the Mountain West Conference pitcher of the week after firing six innings of one-hit, one-run ball in the Bulldogs’ 2-1 victory over Nevada in 10 innings on Thursday, the first of what turned out to be a three-game sweep.

Brink, a Central High grad, entered the game in the fifth inning, after left-hander Tyler Linehan had opened with four scoreless innings. He struck out eight batters, three coming in the ninth inning. It is his second pitcher of the week honor this season – the first came following a 5-3 victory over Air Force in which he struck out a career-high 12 batters.

Fresno State opens the MW Tournament against Nevada on Wednesday at Beiden Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.


Mountain West schools are not standing pat – Boise State to add $2 million video board to Bronco Stadium

When Fresno State joined the Mountain West Conference, athletic department officials knew that the Bulldogs were taking a major step up. They might not have anticipated how difficult it would be to keep up with the completion in the new conference, though.

Boise State is the latest in the conference to announce plans for a major infrastructure improvement – a $2 million video board for Bronco Stadium that will measure 60-feet wide by 33-feet tall. The board in the venue now was installed in 2001 and is roughly 24-feet by 18-feet.

According to a report in the Idaho Statesman, Boise State submitted a funding plan to the state Board of Education. The school is hoping to limit the cost to $1.5 million, with $750,000 coming from athletic department reserves, $250,000 in equipment money from a sponsorship contract with Learfield Sports and $500,000 in donation commitments.

Nevada this month announced plans to renovate Mackay Stadium, pushing a $6 million to $8 million project to add new suites, a club seating level and seat backs in five sections of the venue.

Former Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas signs with Washington

Safety Phillip Thomas, who was the Washington Redskins’ fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft, signed with the team on Friday, the fifth of their seven selections to finalize a contract.

Terms were not disclosed, but the Washington Post reported the deal was comparable to what linebacker Keenan Robinson received from the Redskins last year as the 119th overall pick a year ago – that is a four-year contract worth $2.5 million that came with a $425,000 signing bonus. Thomas also was the 119th overall selection.

Thomas, who last season led the bowl subdivision in interceptions for the Bulldogs and was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award,  is expected to contend for a starting spot this season. He played strong safety at Fresno State, but can play both free and strong safety positions in the NFL.

Two in a row bodes well for the Bulldogs’ Tyler Linehan going into MW Tournament

Fresno State left-hander Tyler Linehan has now done it back to back, put together solid outings in a May 7 victory over Hawaii and on Thursday in a 2-1 win over Nevada, and that might just mean that he is in fact … well, back.

Tyler Linehan

The Bulldogs’ most experienced pitcher has had a rough year, but through it there have been some solid outings including a 1-0 victory over San Diego State on March 15 in which he allowed eight hits while striking out seven batters, a season-high. Until Thursday, when he worked four scoreless innings against the Wolf Pack, he had not put together two solid games in a row.

He worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 15, then two days later gave ups six hits and seven runs (three earned) while recording just two outs against the Gauchos.

He was not scored upon in a short (two-thirds of an inning) stint on Feb. 24 at Stanford, then gave up nine hits and six runs (four earned) in a March 1 loss to USC.

He had another short appearance against Cal on March 7, retiring one batter without giving up a run, then two days later gave up three hits and one run in a loss to the Golden Bears.

Then there was that complete game shutout victory over the Aztecs. The next time Linehan went to the mound, he gave up 13 hits and 12 runs (eight earned) in just 4 1/3 innings of a loss at Air Force.

It has been that way all year. But a mechanical adjustment has him throwing strike one much more consistently, and for Linehan that is hugely important.

‘’Strike one,’’ Coach Mike Batesole said. ‘’What was it, 13 out of 15 or something like that today? That’s his whole deal. When it’s 0-1, it’s a different game. When it’s 1-0, it’s a completely different game. Why that’s a bigger factor with him than it is with some other guys, I don’t know, but it is.’’

Linehan did have to work to set down some of the Wolf Pack batters – he threw 72 pitches in his four innings. First things first, but it appears the Bulldogs have what could be a very important piece to take into the Mountain West Conference Tournament next week.

‘’I just have to fix those three-ball counts,’’ Linehan said. ‘’That’s something that (pitching coach Steve Rousey) and I will work on. Once we fix that, I know I have a great defense behind me, I just have to trust that, too, and know that we can get them out, then the pitch counts should go down and I should be able to go longer.’’


Bulldogs’ safety Derron Smith selected to watch list for Lott Trophy

Fresno State junior Derron Smith is one of 42 players selected to the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded annually to the defensive player of the year in college football.

Fresno State free safety Derron Smith

Smith last season was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection after tying for fifth in the nation with six interceptions and ranking second on a revamped Bulldogs’ defense in tackles with 79. Fresno State was ranked second in the bowl subdivision in passing defense, allowing only 167.1 yards per game, third in interceptions with 22 and fourth in passing efficiency defense allowing a rating of only 100.75.

Voting for the Lott Trophy is held throughout the season by a national panel of former college coaches and players, select members of the media, past winners of the award and the board of directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.


Fresno State men’s basketball staff and players hosting three skills camps this summer

The Fresno State men’s basketball coaching staff and Bulldogs’ players are offering three skills camps this summer, from June 10-13, June 24-27 and July 29-Aug. 1.

All three sessions are open to kids in the second through 11th grades (6 to 17). The cost is $125 per camper if paid in full one week prior to the camp session and $150 per camper after that deadline. A $25 discount per camper is available when the application is received as a group of four or more.

Each camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Pizza, water, soda and other snacks will be available for purchase, or campers may bring a lunch.

Each participant will receive a camp T-shirt and a basketball, as well as instruction on fundamental skills. There also will be competitions between age groups and camp awards presented at the end of each session.

For more information contact Nick Matson, director of basketball operations, at 559-278-5683 or