Fresno State Bulldogs Finish on Roll, Advance to NCAA Tournament

Mark E. SmithCorrespondent IMay 25, 2009

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 25:  The Fresno State Bulldogs celebrate winning The 2008 Men's College World Series Championship against the Georgia Bulldogs on June 25, 2008 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Last year, the Bulldogs Baseball team from Fresno State staved off several eliminations on their way to the National Title.  They seemingly always had their back to the wall and created for themselves a huge national story. 

About two weeks ago, I wrote an article about how they were going to miss the postseason all together this year, and how that would be okay because then we would truly appreciate how special that team was.

Apparently, nobody on the Fresno State baseball cared to read my writing.  They had to win three out of four against Sacramento State just to make it into the WAC tourney.  So, of course they went out and swept the Hornets...just the first WAC series win of the year. 

Then they lose the first game of the double elimination WAC tournament to New Mexico State, so they were up against it again. 

Now, if this were a story book the Bulldogs would win the next couple of games and set up another showdown against the Aggies in the tournament final. 

That's exactly what happened. 

The Bulldogs proceeded to beat the No. 1 seed San Jose State, and then the host Hawaii Warriors.  New Mexico cruised through unbeaten until Sunday, meaning one win was all they needed to send home the Bulldogs.

In Game One, the Bulldogs needed a home run in the ninth from Jordan Ribera to break a 7-7 tie and send the Bulldogs and Aggies to a decisive final.  Zac Bischoff made his first start for Fresno in the final game and was very impressive.  He went five, gave up only one run, and kept his team in position to win. 

In the eighth, with the game all tied at three, Jordan Ribera, who is subbing for suspended star Alan Ahmady, came up with another two run homer to give the 'Dogs the winning runs. 

The team that started off with such high expectations and then stumbled greatly, was able to put the season back together at the end.  Since the time when I wrote off the 2009 team, they went on to win eight of the last nine games. 

24-27 and facing an early ending to their season, Tommy Mendoca, Holden Sprague, Danny Grubb, and Co. picked themselves and fought their way back into the tournament. 

Will this season have another storybook ending? 

For the hope of not jinxing them, I'll say probably not.  I mean how often does Cinderella really get to try on the glass slipper? 

But at least we know they are going to be crashing the ball again, and from there it's anyone's guess how it will end.  And if the tournament is anything like the rest of the season, you can guess Fresno State will lose Game One and the rest of the field better watch out.