Monday, May 25, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

If Fresno State started every game down five runs, the team might be undefeated.

Incredible. Granted the WAC overall is a sub-par baseball conference. But Fresno State's Diamond 'Dogs did it again. A fourth straight WAC tournament title (the tourney just started back up in 2006, and Fresno State's won it every time since). The 'Dogs were headed for possibly their worst record in about 30 years, and now have not only clinched a winning record, but also a chance to truly defend their national championship.

And who's the hero this time? If Lord almighty himself told us beforehand Fresno State would sweep two from New Mexico State today and one guy would be the hero in both games, it would take us about 20 guesses to choose who. Jordan Ribera. The sophomore first baseman from Clovis West who didn't play first base all year. He DH'd early in the season, only to sit the past couple months barely batting over .100 and with strikeouts galore.

Then Ribs hits a two-run homer in the eighth inning of Game 1 to put Fresno State up 9-7 after the team battled back from a 7-2 deficit. Later in Game 2, locked in a 3-3 tie, Ribs crushes another two-run shot to give the 'Dogs a 5-3 win. His third and fourth homers of the year. And he's named WAC tournament MVP after collecting more hits in the tourney than he had all season long to that point. And then real gut-buster is Ribera was only playing because preseason All-American Alan Ahmady was suspended earlier in the week and left at home.

This team is relentless. Full of heart. Full of fight. Fun. Inspirational. Anyone get a chance to see Holden Sprague react after a double play sealed the Game 1 win for the Bulldogs? Spraguer walked off the mound yelling and pumping his arms so hard he could have dislocated both shoulders. Then he delivered a breath-stealing chest bump to Ribera and continued fist pumping. That one visual is Fresno State baseball in a nutshell.

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