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.

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.

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.



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.