So what did the Diamond Dogs get their head coach, Mike Batesole, for his birthday? 23 runs, a two-hit complete game shutout by a true freshman, and a pair of much-needed wins.
Happy Birthday, indeed.
Fresno State snapped their five game losing streak in a big way by sweeping a doubleheader from Lipscomb, 13-11 and 10-0, on Saturday afternoon.
Derek Benny rewrote history in game two of the doubleheader after facing only 27 batters in nine innings. The freshman from Roseville, Calif., was the first Bulldog pitcher this season to throw a complete game.
Game one featured an 11-run offensive explosion by the Bulldogs in the fourth inning. Senior Gavin Hedstrom started the rally by reaching base after getting hit by a pitch. Designated hitter Jordan Ribera walked and Hedstrom advanced to second. Right fielder Steve Detwiler reached on an error as Hedstrom scored and Ribera advanced to second base.
Trent Garrison loaded the bases after getting walked and Dane McLaughlin pinch ran for Garrison. Gowens emptied the bases with a single to right field and the Bison right fielder lost the ball and slipped as Gowens advanced to second.
Muno continued the rally by hitting a double down the left field line driving in Gowens. Mendonca reached after getting hit by a pitch. The next at bat Alan Ahmady reached after getting hit by a pitch to load the bases for the second time in the inning.
Hedstrom singled up the middle driving in two more Bulldog runners and extending his hitting streak to seven games. The next batter, Ribera, drilled the ball over the right center wall for a two-run home run, his second home run of the season.
The Bulldogs came close to tying the single inning record for most runs scored after 11 bulldogs crossed home plate in the fourth inning. The record stands at 12 runs in a single inning set in 1983 against Cal Poly.
Mendonca launched a long ball over the left center wall for his ninth home run of the season extending the Bulldogs lead to 13-8 in the bottom of the eighth inning. The homerun was the 38th for Mendonca as a Bulldog.
Mendonca kept up his torrid pace in game two, launching his 10th long ball of the season, a two-run shot to rightfield, to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 first inning lead.
Derek Benny took care of the rest.
The fireballing freshman right-hander struck out a career-high eight batters in nine innings, earning his first shutout of the season.
It is the first time in 42 years that a Bulldog pitcher faced the minimum of 27 batters.
Mendonca's two homeruns placed him in a tie for second on the all-time Bulldogs' list with Steve Susdorf and Lance Shebelut. Mendonca, with 39 homers as a Bulldog, trails all-time Bulldogs' homerun leader Giuseppe Chiramonte, who hit 43 round-trippers from 1995-1997.