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.’’

Fresno State loses tough one, but Luplow makes immediate impact in return from shoulder injury

Fresno State blew a ninth-inning lead, giving up three runs to lose 9-8 on Friday to UNLV at Beiden Field in a game there were few bright spots for the Bulldogs, who are now just 7-19 and 2-6 in the Mountain West Conference.

One was the return of Jordan Luplow, who in his first plate appearance showed a bit of what they have been missing since he went down with a left shoulder injury in a victory last month over USC.

Luplow was in the lineup as the designated hitter, batting ninth. His first at-bat he fouled out to the catcher, but that came at the end of a 10-pitch battle with Rebels’ starter Erick Fedde. His next at-bat he struck out, but knocked eight more pitches off of Fedde’s pitch count. He ended the night with a RBI double in the seventh and another in the eighth, finishing 2 for 4 with two RBI.

”Nice to have him back, and it’s been five weeks since he had a live at-bat,” Coach Mike Batesole said. ”That’s why we hit him down at the bottom and we’ll probably do that all weekend, let him get his feet wet and get 10 or 12 at-bats, and then next weekend we’ll probably move him back into the middle of it. But we’ve been missing that for sure.”

Fresno State outfielder Jordan Luplow nearing return from shoulder injury

Fresno State coach Mike Batesole referred to Jordan Luplow, the sophomore right fielder, as a difference maker. And the Bulldogs could get a chance soon to see how much a difference the former Buchanan High star can make in turning around what has been a disappointing season, with Fresno State only 7-18 after a victory over Pacific on Tuesday at Beiden Field and 2-5 in the Mountain West Conference.

Luplow, out since suffering a left shoulder injury trying to make a diving catch in a March 2 victory over USC, is expected to take another step in his rehab on Wednesday and could be back within the next two weeks.

”He’s been running the bases, been running balls down in the outfield,” Batesole said. ”He took some infield (Tuesday) and he’s been swinging the bat a little bit better each day. I think we’re inside of two weeks now.”

Luplow, the Bulldogs’ leadoff hitter coming into the season, was hitting only .212 (7 for 33) when he was injured, but had an on-base percentage of .395, which is the second behind only Aaron Judge (.420). In the first 10 games, he also scored 10 runs. More than one month and 15 games later, that still ranks in a tie for third on the team behind Judge (14) and Austin Wynns (11). Jordan Brink also has scored 10 runs.

Bulldogs’ Jordan Luplow ruled out this week with shoulder injury

Fresno State center fielder Jordan Luplow has been ruled out of the Bulldogs’ game on Tuesday against San Jose State at Beiden Field as well as a four-game weekend series at Cal with a left shoulder injury suffered in a 14-3 victory on Sunday over USC.

Luplow was injured trying to make a diving catch on a ball in left center field off the bat of the Trojans’ Jake Hernandez. It went for a double.

The sophomore from Buchanan High had his left arm in a sling after the game and was to have a MRI on Monday, Coach Mike Batesole said. The results of the exam were not released, but the Bulldogs’ coach confirmed in a statement from the athletic department that Luplow is out.

‘’Jordan will not play this week and will continue to rehab until he is released by out doctors and trainers,’’ Batesole said. ‘’He is being given the best care available.’’