(Fresno, CA) Sophomore LHP Tyler Linehan stepped into the role of Friday night starter in impressive fashion in Fresno State’s season opening 3-0 win over Butler tonight. The lefty baffled the visitors to the tune of 13 K’s over 7 2/3 scoreless innings to lead Fresno State to a 3-0 home win in a battle of Bulldogs. Linehan threw a fastball that reached 93 and a solid slider to keep the visiting club flailing away, to the delight of the Opening Night crowd at Pete Beiden Field.
Senior Pat Hutcheson led off the botom of the first with a home run over the right-centerfield wall to give Linehan and two relievers all the support they would need. Hutcheson went 1-3 with a walk and scored two of Fresno State’s three runs. Senior RHP Taylor Garrison pitched a scoreless ninth and fanned three to seal the win.
It was a workhorse outing for Linehan as his effort was enough to convince head coach Mike Batesole to leave him in for 124 pitches (83 strikes). He left the bases loaded in the second and got into jams in the seventh and eighth innings. He finally came out with two outs in the eighth having allowed five hits, two walks and no runs to go along with those 13 K’s.
The current issue of Baseball America, the college preview issue, has Linehan as the number-two top prospect in the Western Athletic Conference with Garrison listed at number 10.