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Bob Bennett Honored and Dogs Pull Off Win in Extra Innings Print E-mail
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Written by Travis Blanshan - Fresno State   
Sunday, 08 May 2016 15:39
FRESNO - On an historic night in Fresno State baseball history that saw the Bulldogs stadium dedicated to legendary former head coach Bob Bennett, the Bulldogs used some magic to pull out a 1-0 walk-off win over San Diego State in 10 innings.

In a pregame on-field ceremony that featured the voice of the Bulldogs Paul Loeffler, Athletic Director Jim Bartko, Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin, former player Bobby Jones and finally Bob Bennett himself, they were joined on the field by hundreds of former players and their families.

Coach Bennett was very gracious in the acceptance of this honor crediting much of his success to his former student-athletes, "The reason the fans gave us so much support is because of the players," said Bennett. "They are the reason you donated the money to this program, because they had the character and committment and qualitites that you like. We are so appreciative of these players, because without them, there would be no stadium here. We are so appreciative of that and it is a great day for us, the Bennett family and anyone that had anything to do with it."

Former Bulldog player Bobby Jones, a 1997 Fresno State Baseball Hall of Fame inductee who played 10 season in the major leagues, spoke highly of how his former coach cared for him beyond the baseball field. "You taught us to be community figures, to always remember where you came from and that is something that has always stood with me for the rest of my life," said Jones.

With Bennett's grandson throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and on-field activities wrapping up, the game got underway with a rocky start start for Fresno State (31-17, 18-8 MW) in the top of the first as starting pitcher Jimmy Lambert allowed a pair of one-out singles and a walk to load the bases. Working his good fortune that has kept at a perfect 9-0 on the season, the junior escaped the jam with a strikeout and a fly out stranding the bases loaded.

That would be as close as either side would get to scoring in the first nine innings as a pitcher's duel ensued as both Lambert and San Diego State (14-31, 6-15 MW) starter Brett Seeburger each tossed seven innings. Lambert allowed four hits, issued three walks and struck out seven, while Seeburger countered allowing five hits, one walk and struck out 10 Bulldogs.

With the game heading to extra-innings for the seventh time this season, sophomore relief pitcher Rickey Ramirez worked around a runner on third base with one out to get two crucial swinging strikeouts and allow the Bulldogs an opportunity to score in the 10th. 

The 'Dogs did just that as junior second baseman Scott Silva led off with his seventh double of the season to right center. After an intentional walk to junior third baseman Jesse Medrano and a flyout to center field from junior center fielder Jake Stone moved Silva to third, sophomore first baseman Aaron Arruda was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out.

Junior right fielder Austin Guibor deliverd the game-winning hit singling to right field to bring home Silva and give the 'Dogs their third walk-off win of the season. "It was definitely a fairytale ending, and a great way to cap a great day for a great guy who did so much for this program. It was great to get a win for him while he was out here watching us play," said a joyous Silva after the victory.

Head coach Mike Batesole was glad to see the 'Dogs pull out the win on an historic day in Bulldog baseball history, "That was beautiful. That was one of the most loyal views of support that I have ever seen to see that many former student-athletes out here for him and to see Coach Bennett speaking brought a tear to my eye and gave me goosebumps. The win was icing on top of the cake of a fantastic day for Bob and his family."

With so many former Bulldogs in attendance, Batesole knew his team definitely had some extra motivation to pull out the win, "There was definitely some electricity in the ballpark today and I think they see how many people have their back and that is it so great to be a Bulldog. We have a great community, Dugout Club, fantastic alumni and it takes everyone pulling in the same direction to get it done and I think the players felt that today."

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