Single-session tickets to Mountain West Baseball Tournament at Beiden Field now on sale

Single session tickets to the Mountain West Conference Baseball Tournament to be held at Beiden Field May 22-26 are now on sale through the Fresno State box office.

Tickets in the upper level are priced as low as $10 for students, youth and senior citizens. Upper reserved seats for adults are $13 and seats in the lower reserved sections are $15. All-session tickets can also be purchased through the box office for between $30 and $50.

The tournament opens on Wednesday with games at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and the Bulldogs are set for the second of those games. There are three games on Thursday and Friday, at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

There are two on Saturday, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a potential championship matchup in the second of those games. If a champion is not decided, tickets for a Sunday championship would go on sale immediately following the Saturday night game.

Fresno State closes the regular season with a three game series against Nevada starting Thursday.

Former Fresno State linebacker Ben Jacobs signed by Carolina Panthers

Former Fresno State linebacker Ben Jacobs was one of eight players signed to the Carolina Panthers’ 90-man roster on Monday following a rookie mini-camp over the weekend. The Panthers had 36 in for the tryout.

Jacobs played for the Bulldogs from 2007 to ’10, recording 387 career tackles and four sacks and ranks third on the all-time tackles list at Fresno State. He also tied a NCAA record with three forced fumbles in a 2009 game against Louisiana Tech, recovering two including one that he returned for a touchdown.

He signed with the Cleveland Browns out of college as an undrafted free agent, playing five games in 2011, and has spent time on the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad.

Bulldogs still taking cautious approach with Jordan Luplow, coming back from shoulder injury

Fresno State Coach Mike Batesole pulled right fielder Jordan Luplow in the third inning of the Bulldogs’ 9-8 victory over New Mexico on Sunday, lifted him for a pinch-runner after reaching on a fielder’s choice. It was an odd move at that point, given what Luplow can bring to a lineup that had struggled mightily in the first two-plus games of their series against the Lobos.

But Batesole still is being a tad cautious with the former Buchanan High star following the left shoulder injury that he suffered trying to make a diving catch in the outfield in a March 3 victory over USC.

Luplow missed more than one month, going 2 for 4 in his return on April 5 in a loss to UNLV. Fresno State was just 4-10 in the games that he missed in that stretch.

‘’You saw him on Friday night, he almost dove for a ball,’’ Batesole said. ‘’Then he got that breaking ball out in front … just being cautious. Maybe smart is a better way of saying it. We’ve got to get him to the finish line and every time he does something extends that thing I’m afraid it’s going to come out again.

‘’That’s the way he plays. That’s just in his blood. He’s not going to take himself out. I don’t even ask him, because if I did ask him he’s going to say he’s fine.’’

Rutgers reportedly down to three in AD search, including Fresno State AD Thomas Boeh

Rutgers’ list of candidates to be its next athletic director is down to three finalists — Fresno State AD Thomas Boeh, Louisville executive senior associate AD Julie Hermann and Wisconsin deputy AD Sean Frazier.

The school over the past three days has conducted exploratory interviews with as many 10 candidates and according to a report in the Home News Tribune will invite the finalists to campus on Monday and Tuesday for formal interviews with coaches, select athletic department officials and student athletes. The 26-person selection committee will then will then meet before a recommendation is forwarded to the university’s board of governors, which is expected to hold a special meeting by Wednesday or Thursday to vote on an official appointment.

The school has been without an athletic director since Tim Pernetti accepted a $1.2 million settlement to resign five weeks ago in the wake of the scandal in the Scarlet Knights’ basketball program.

None of the finalists have known ties to Rutgers, but all three have experience in the Big Ten. Rutgers is moving into the conference in 2014-’15.

Boeh, who has spent the past seven years at Fresno State. has a master’s degree in athletics administration from Illinois and has held a variety of position with the Big Ten Network and also worked at Northwestern.

Record-setting Rouse signs as undrafted free agent with Cleveland Browns

Record-setting Fresno State running back signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday as an undrafted free agent and was on-hand for the second of their three mini-camp practices this weekend.

Here is an interview Rouse did on the Browns’ website.

The Bulldogs’ all-time rushing leader had participated in a mini camp with the Minnesota Vikings last week before signing with the Browns.



Pebley a finalist at San Diego State?

Women’s basketball coach Raegan Pebley might be ready to leave to Fresno State after one season.

Pebley is a finalist for the San Diego State job, according to a report by KGPE (CBS 47) that cites unnamed sources.

Raegan Pebley speaks to the media after helping Fresno State reach the NCAA Tournament in her first season with the Bulldogs.

Though she guided Fresno State to a sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and a 24-9 overall record, Pebley hardly endured a stress-free season as players initially were hesitant to the change of coaches and systems, and a portion of Bulldogs fans kept yearning for the return of former coach Adrian Wiggins.

Still, Pebley helped Fresno State finish second to San Diego State in the Mountain West regular-season standings, then upset the Aztecs in the conference tournament championship to secure an NCAA Tournament automatic bid. A 15th-seeded Fresno State team challenged second-seeded Cal, an eventual Final Four team, for a while before falling 90-76 in the first round.

A few weeks after the season, top player Ki-Ki Moore said she was transferring to Pacific for her senior season despite a news release from Fresno State just prior to the regular-season finale that stated she was ending her basketball career because of injuries.

Pebley said she was disappointed that Moore wasn’t finishing her career at Fresno State but said she was not surprised.

The San Diego State job became open after coach Beth Burns unexpectedly retired in April following her 16th season with the Aztecs.

San Diego State finished 27-7 last season and had an RPI that ranked 49th in the country, but was surprisingly left out of the NCAA Tournament following its upset to Fresno State in the conference championship. The Aztecs went on to play in the WNIT and were eliminated in the second round.

Pebley, 37, signed a five-year contract in April 2012 that was to pay her among the top half of Mountain West coaches, athletic director Thomas Boeh said upon hiring her from Utah State. Pebley’s exact salary at Fresno State was not immediately known Friday evening.

Before coming to Fresno State, Pebley was the winningest coach in Utah State history despite a 110-155 overall record. But her efforts were most notable in resurrecting an Aggies women’s basketball program that had been defunct for 16 years.

Pebley also was a standout player at Colorado and played in the WNBA.


Bulldogs’ run differential late in games in a big minus

Fresno State has had trouble getting outs late in ball games all season, and has allowed 129 runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth and extra innings of its games.

That’s a big reason why the Bulldogs are 17-29 and 10-14 in Mountain West conference play heading into a three-game series that starts on Friday against New Mexico, the regular-season league champion.

Their bullpen has absorbed 18 of those losses.

The 129 runs is 47.6 percent of all runs the ‘Dogs have allowed this season and to add a big chill to that consider this: Arkansas, which is leading Division I in earned run average, has allowed 124 runs in its 48 games this season. The Razorbacks have an ERA of 1.77 – only 85 of their runs allowed have been earned.

Dartmouth also had allowed fewer runs this season – 121 – than the Bulldogs’ have allowed in the final three-plus innings of their games. And there are other teams in Division I that are pretty close to having Fresno State beat as well – Oregon State and North Carolina have allowed 131 runs in 46 and 48 games, Cal State Fullerton has allowed 134 runs in 46 games and Louisiana State has allowed 139 in 49.

Dartmouth has played 41 games.

Free admission to Fresno State-New Mexico game for fans donating books to First 5

Fresno State is holding a book drive in conjunction with First 5 of Fresno on Friday to benefit children in the valley. Those donating books will receive free admission to the Bulldogs’ Mountain West Conference game against New Mexico at Beiden Field.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

First 5 is an advocacy organization that invests resources and supports efforts to improve the lives of of children up to 5 years old and their families. It was created in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10, the ‘’Children and Families Act.’’

Three more Fresno State football games picked up by ESPN

The Mountain West Conference released the final 15 football games to be televised by ESPN networks on Thursday including three with Fresno State – the Bulldogs’ Oct. 26 game at San Diego State, the Nov. 2 game against Nevada and the Nov. 23 game against New Mexico.

At this point, Fresno State, the defending MW co-champion, will be on national television five times next season including four times on ESPN networks. The Bulldogs’ Sept. 20 game against Boise State will be televised by ESPN and the Nov. 29 game at San Jose State will be televised by CBSSports Network.

Kickoff times and specific networks for the three ESPN games picked up on Thursday will be determined through the course of the season, generally in a 12-day window in advance of the game.

The Mountain West has announced 43 of the 44 national broadcasts in its television packages with CBS Sports Network and ESPN, both of which have 22 games. There is one national broadcast by CBS Sports which has yet to be announced.


USA Today report shows Fresno State athletic department received huge increase in student fees, school funds, in 2012

At Fresno State ticket revenue and contributions to the athletic department were down in 2012, falling more than $1.6 million and $2.3 million from 2011.

But the Bulldogs’ athletic department received significantly more money through student fees and school funds than in past years, according to data compiled by USA Today and the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University in a special report detailing spending and revenue at Division I athletic programs.

The athletic department reported $30,724,143 in total revenues to rank 71st in Division I including $4,063,999 in student fees (up from $1,620,712 in 2011) and $8,977,440 in school funds (up from $6,778,286).

The USA Today database listing every Division I program can be found here.

Across Division I public universities only 23 of 228 athletic departments generated enough revenue on their own to cover their expenses last year, and subsides to athletic departments went up by nearly $200 million from 2011 at a time many universities are tightening budgets and trimming academic programs.

That increase is the largest year-to-year since USA Today started collecting financial information athletic departments reported to the NCAA in the 2004-‘05 fiscal year.

In the Mountain West Conference, including San Jose State and Utah State, which are joining the league this year, Fresno State ranked eighth in total revenue and fourth in the amount received through student fees and ninth through school funds.

The two other California State University programs in the conference – San Diego State and San Jose State – as well as Colorado State were the only schools to take in more revenue through student fees than Fresno State.