If you lightly penciled in New Mexico State for a regional bid this evening (yes, I’m guilty), you’d better get out your eraser. It turns out Fresno State will have the opportunity to defend its national title in the NCAA tournament after all.
The Bulldogs needed to win back-to-back games against unbeaten New Mexico State to get back to regionals, and they trailed 7-4 after seven innings in the first game, at which point I published my final regional projection with the Aggies in the field, and the Bulldogs out (albeit with a caveat that Fresno was technically still alive). But the Wonderdogs rallied for five runs over the final two innings to win 9-7. Then, in the decisive nightcap, Jordan Ribera broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the eighth inning to propel Fresno into the NCAA tournament.
You just can’t ever count those guys out, even after a horribly disappointing regular season, during which Fresno went just 28-27. In case you were wondering, the Bulldogs went 33-27 in the regular season last year, but they wound up with a 47-31 overall mark by time the 2009 postseason ended.
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