Wednesday, March 11, 2009

They are merely freshmen

That's been quite the theme around Pete Beiden Field lately with the '09 Fresno State baseball team. Heck, it's been the theme all year with the men's basketball team too. The difference, though, is the baseball team is winning -- and winning big -- albeit against weak competition like Buffalo (22-4), Portland (7-0) and Cal State-Bakersfield (16-1).

Let's break down the young 'uns on the Diamond 'Dogs:

  • Kenny Wise, can't say enough about the way this kid's been taking at-bats. 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs and a walk yesterday at the DH spot. Now batting .389 on the year, the lefty Wise is making it tough for Jordan Ribera to see the field against right-handed pitching (although Ribs did hit a jack after striking out looking yesterday). For the record, Ribera is now hitting .077 on the young season with 10 strikeouts in 13 at-bats.
  • Josh Poytress, the highly-touted Fowler High grad was brilliant in his first start on Monday, shutting down Portland in five innings (they're brininging him along slowly). No complaints about a lefty with a 0.00 ERA in 7 2/3 innings who's throwing 92-93 mph gas.
  • Derek Benny, while the 6-foot-5 flamethrower has been touched up sporadically, the potential he offers is exciting fans at Beiden Field. Think Matt Garza/Tanner Scheppers but taller if he develops. He's already better than those two were as freshmen.
  • Brennan Gowens, fans have to like his play running down flyballs in center field lately. Plus, his balanced plate approach from the left side allows him to grip and rip. He gets after it hard, the way Mike Batesole loves for his guys to approach the game. A .350 average, 1 HR and 4 RBI -- not too shabby.
  • Dusty Robinson, the much ballyhooed high school power phenom unleashed on one and took it over the left field wall and out of the park last night (his first homer since the season opener against Washington). He's batting .333 and seems to be the guy in left field for now.
  • Taylor Garrison, the pitcher has turned in 7 1/3 innings of relief and given up just one earned run. It's hard to remember a time when any freshmen have made a big impact on the mound, let alone three of them. Even sophomore Jake Floethe, who's been nothing short of dominant in his three starts, had an 8.64 ERA as a freshman, compared to 0.95 so far this year.

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