Fresno State Gets Revenge, Beats UCSB 6-1

Chris Lincoln (photo by James Colon)
Chris Lincoln (photo by James Colon)

FRESNO, Calif. – The Fresno State pitching staff threw a combined one-hitter in Wednesday night's non-conference clash at Bennett Stadium, defeating UC Santa Barbara 6-1 to avenge last week's loss at the hands of the Gauchos. 

Freshman lefty Nikoh Mitchell got the ball rolling for the Bulldogs (8-2) with three strong innings, punching out six and allowing an unearned run. From there, a sextet of FS relievers held the Gauchos (2-6) hitless over the final six innings of the game. Junior lefty JJ Santa Cruz had the strongest outing of the bullpen for the Bulldogs, retiring all five batters he faced and striking out three, including a pair with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. 

Sophomore catcher Eric Yang recorded UCSB's only hit of the game in the team's sole run-producing rally, with the El Camino Real product lining a single into center in the third to give UCSB runners on first and second with nobody out. 

The Gauchos would score on the very next play, with redshirt junior DH Clay Fisher laying down a bunt and Nikoh Mitchell making a bad throw to second allowing UCSB's Tevin Mitchell – who led off the inning by working a walk – to round third and come across. 

Fresno State would go on to take the lead for good in the bottom half of that very frame. With runners on first and third and nobody out, UCSB traded the game-tying run for a double play. However, the Bulldogs put together a two-out rally, parlaying a base hit and a UCSB error into two runs on a JT Arruda double into the left field corner. 

Arruda added more insurance as part of a four-RBI day with a two-run single in the fifth. 

Right-handers Chris Lincoln and Chris Troye were a pair of bright spots for the Gauchos, providing solid relief efforts in the middle innings. 

Lincoln, a sophomore, took over with two on and two out in the fifth, and induced a rally-ending fly ball from McCarthy Tatum before tossing a hitless sixth inning. The only baserunner he allowed reached on a Gaucho fielding error. 

Troye, a true freshman, followed Lincoln up with a scoreless seventh. Lincoln and Troye each extended their season-opening scoreless streaks to 6 1/3 and six innings, respectively. 

The Gauchos return to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium this weekend to open a stretch that sees them play 21 of 22 games at home, starting with a three-game set against Penn State to be played Saturday through Monday. All games in that series are slated for 3:00 p.m. starts.