Shipley To Throw Out First Pitch Monday

University of Nevada pitcher Braden Shipley will throw out the first pitch on Monday night at Aces Ballpark in downtown Reno.   Shipley was selected as the overall 15th pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2013 MLB Draft last week.  The Reno Aces are the triple-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks.  The first pitch will take place at approximately 6:40 p.m. before the Aces play the Sacramento River Cats.

Shipley is the highest drafted player in the history of Nevada athletics.  A pair of Wolf Pack basketball players Kirk Snyder (2005) and Luke Babbitt (2011) were picked 16th in the first round.  Snyder was selected by the Utah Jazz and Babbitt the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Shipley earned Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors as a sophomore after going 9-4 with a conference low 2.20 ERA.  After the Pack switched conferences to the Mountain West he was named the co-MW Pitcher of the Year.  In his junior season he was 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA had 102 strikeouts in 107.1 innings on the mound.  The 102 strikeouts is the seventh best season in school history.

Swimmers Honored in Post-Season Publication

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Nikki Longland and Erin Fuss were honored in the 2012-13 College Swimming and Diving Honors, a publication that recognizes the best in collegiate swim and dive in a host of categories.

Longland was listed as one of the best walk-on athletes in the country, while Fuss was named in the special honors section of the annual publication. Longland, a junior and native of Sparks, Nevada, will return to the Pack for her senior season in 2013-14. Fuss has only competed in one full season for Nevada and will be a sophomore next year.

Longland dropped an astonishing 42 seconds off her 400 IM time this season, posting a personal best of 4:22.71 at the Mountain West Championships. A versatile swimmer, she also dropped more than seven seconds off her 200-yard breaststroke time at the season-ending event, swimming a 2:18.39 in San Antonio. Fuss lowered her personal best in three events in her freshman season, making the biggest improvement in the 200 IM. She went from 2:18.17 to 2:07.62.

The complete publication can be found at http://issuu.com/navyswim/docs/profiles_in_excellence_05_june_4_20?e=2150828/2983055

Pack Rich MLB Draft History

Shipley_Braden (1).jpgUniversity of Nevada baseball has a long and rich history of players being selected in the Major League Baseball draft but Thursday's 2013 draft should produce a first.  Junior pitcher Braden Shipley is projected to be not only be a first-round selection, but a top-10 overall pick.  Shipley has a career record of 17-7 with 203 strikeouts in 216 innings pitched and a 2.79 ERA in his three seasons at Nevada.

Shipley earned Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors as a sophomore after going 9-4 with a conference low 2.20 ERA.  After the Pack switched conferences to the Mountain West he was named the co-MW Pitcher of the Year.  In his junior season he was 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA had 102 strikeouts in 107.1 innings on the mound.  The 102 strikeouts is the seventh best season in school history.

Somewhat ironic, Shipley spent his freshman season as the Pack's starting shortstop making just five appearances on the mound. He earned second-team All-WAC honors after batting .287 with seven doubles and 19 RBI.  After becoming the Pack's ace his sophomore season he has progressed into a first-round MLB selection.

Shipley joins Mountain West players DJ Peterson from New Mexico and Aaron Judge from Fresno State as projected first round selections.  Click on this link to watch the MW preview of these three potential first round selections.

Five Wolf Pack players were selected in the second run but none in round one.  Pitcher Darrell Rasner was the highest selection going 46th overall to the then Montreal Expos in 2002.  Outfielder and current ESPN analyst Chris Singleton was taken by the San Francisco Giants with pick number 48 in 1993.  Rob Richie, the first ever Nevada player selected in the second round,  was chosen by the Detroit Tigers with the 53rd pick in 1987.

Pitcher Chad Qualls, a current member of the Miami Marlins, was the 67th pick in 2000 by the Houston Astros.  Qualls pitched in the World Series for the Astros in 2005.  Catcher Brett Hayes was the Pack's most recent second-round selection going to the Florida Marlins with 79th pick in 2005.  Hayes is currently playing for the triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals in Omaha, Neb.

In the history of Nevada baseball, 18 players have played in Major League Baseball: Ed Plank Rob Richie, Shawn Barton, Singleton, Corky Miller, Lyle Overbay, Andy Dominque, Qualls, Ryan Church, Chris Prieto, Rasner, Joe Inglett, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Eddie Bonine, Chris Dickerson, Hayes, Chris Gimenez and Konrad Schmidt.  Overbay, Qualls and Dickerson are currently on MLB rosters.





Hall of Famer John Polish Passes Away

Today, the 10 members of the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame committee plan to meet to start selecting the next class of talented former student-athletes and coaches who will join that prestigious group this fall.

But as we prepare for that meeting, we learned this morning that a member of that prestigious Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame, John Polish, passed away on Monday at the age of 95.

John Polish was truly a legendary athlete in the state of Nevada, not just for his accomplishments as a football and track athlete at the University of Nevada from 1938-42. His exploits in high school were well-known and his lasting impact is still felt today as the top athlete at Yerington High School receives the John Polish Award. Below is a photo of Polish in action, carrying the ball in a 1940 game against BYU.

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Polish was a member of the second class inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 1974. The press release at the time said this about him:

"Considered one of Nevada's top all-time high school athletes, John Polish entered the University of Nevada in the late 30s to star in football and track. Raised in Yerington, Nevada, Polish was a sensation at his high school. He was a super-gridder, good basketball player and did everything in track -- sprints, hurdles, weights, jumps. Although hampered at Nevada by injuries, Polish led the Wolf Pack in competition in the late 1930s. He was a hard-running halfback in football and a superb punter. In track, Polish won Far Western Conference titles in weights, jumps and hurdles."

After his college career was over, Polish went on to a career of public service, spending over 30 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He also served in the Nevada State Legislature. He continued to attend the yearly Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner when he could.

Dan Hinxman of the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote a great story on Polish in today's paper. Our condolences go out to Polish's friends and family.

Pack Involved In Suits N Sneakers Golf And Gala

Nevada head men's basketball coach David Carter, his staff and the Wolf Pack players will once again be involved in the Suits N Sneakers golf and gala ball event on Friday and Saturday.  The event is a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. 

Coach Carter and assistant coach Keith Brown will play in Friday's golf event at ArrowCreek Country Club.  The entire coaching staff and players will attend the gala ball at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa on Saturday evening.  Those attending the black-tie event will wear sneakers.

For information on on the event contact Patti Davidson at 775-828-2204 or patti.davidson@cancer.org.




Nevada 4x100 Relay Team Ch. 2 Story

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KTVN's Neda Iranpour dropped by Mackay Stadium recently to check out the Wolf Pack 4x100 relay team. The team is gearing up for a trip to Eugene later this week to compete at the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene. Iranpour stopped by practice to speak with head coach Shantel Twiggs and members of the team for a piece that aired several times on Ch. 2.

Check out the segment here.

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Alphie Named To Bleacher Report's Top-20 Mascots List

alphie.jpgThe Bleacher Report released a list of the "20 Best Mascots in College Basketball" this week. Alphie came in at No. 18 on the list of animated mascots.

"We are excited to see Alphie get the recognition we all think he deserves," head cheer coach Kim Anastassatos said. "He has represented Nevada at thousands of games and community events. Being the oldest mascot for the Wolf Pack, Alphie has paved the way for the success of Wolfie Jr."

Wolfie Jr. has had his share of national attention in the last several years, as the younger wolf won the 2011 Capital One Mascot Challenge and put up a good fight in a unsuccessful repeat bid in 2012.

To check out the Bleacher Report list click here.

Pack Sets Multiple Records in 2013

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An updated record book, chronicling the Nevada Wolf Pack softball team's success in 2013, is now available at http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/unv/sports/w-softbl/auto_pdf/2012-13/misc_non_event/199.pdf.

The record book available now will hold current statistics when the Pack begins its 2014 season next Spring.

In 2013, the Wolf Pack was 30-23 overall and set or tied a number of the program's offensive records, including those for slugging and on-base percentage, and led the country in doubles per game. In Mountain West play, the Pack was 9-9 and finished tied for fourth, three spots higher than it was picked in the pre-season.

Nevada doubled 102 times, breaking the record set by the vaunted offense of 2008 despite playing nine less games. The rate of 1.92 per game made Nevada the national leader on a per-game basis. The Pack slugged .477, seven points better than the offense of 2009 and got on base at a clip of .399, 11 points better than the group in 2008. The Pack scored 10-or-more runs in nine games, winning all of them. In 23 games, the team in Navy scored at least six runs, going a spectacular 20-3 in those games. As a team, Nevada hit .311, one point shy of the best number for any Nevada lineup.

Six players drove in at least 30 runs, with three players doubling at least 15 times. The six players that had 30 RBI also each hit at least five home runs. The Pack scored 284 runs in 53 games or 5.36 per game for the 45th best number nationally.

Individually, Nevada junior and All-Mountain West performer Karley Hopkins set the single-season record for runs scored, crossing the plate 45 times. Erin Jones tied the previous record for doubles in a season, collecting two bases on 18 occasions.

These record-setting offensive performances helped Nevada win 30 games for the first time since 2009, but it wasn't solely about the bat in 2013. Defensively, Nevada set the school record for fielding percentage at .965. The Pack made only 52 errors, the fewest of any team in the program's history, with 1,063 putouts and 362 assists. Hopkins fielded .972 in 53 games at second base, while freshman Jasmine Jenkins, who was also All-Mountain West selection, fielded .961 in 46 games at third base.


Dickerson Goes Deep Twice

Former Nevada freshman All-America Chris Dickerson homered twice on Tuesday night in the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees.  Dickerson's first home in the third inning tied the game at one and his second was a monster shot that went 406 feet to tie the game in the fifth inning at two.  The Orioles won 3-2 on a walk-off home run by Nate McClouth in the bottom of the 10th.

Dickerson earned the start in center field for the Orioles and was 3-for-4 with the two home runs.  It was the first two home run game of his career.

Dickerson played three seasons at Nevada from 2001-03 and earned Collegiate Baseball freshman All-America honors in 2001.  Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds he also played for the Brewers, Yankees and joined the Orioles this season.  In 15 games this season he is batting .371 with three home runs and eight RBI.

Shipley, Byler And Klein Named To March Madness MW Baseball Teams

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Nevada's Braden Shipley, Austin Byler and Brooks Klein have been named to March Madness Mountain West baseball teams.   Shipley, the Wolf Pack's ace pitcher, was named the first team as was Byler the team's third baseman while Klein earned second team honors in the outfield.

Shipley is 7-3 on the season with a 2.81 ERA in 99.1 innings on the mound.  He tops the team in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts with 94.  Shipley, from Medford, Ore., was 5-1 with a 2.76 earned run average in Conference play this year. He was second in the league with an opposing batting average of .211 and 61 strikeouts. Shipley threw a league-high 71.2 innings.

Byler batted .346 with 35 runs scored, 10 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 40 RBI.  He tops the team in average and home runs.  In MW play he hit .308 with 16 runs scored, three doubles, a home run and 13 RBI.  An injury has forced him to miss the last four games and will not return this season.

Klein the Pack's starting right fielder is batting .338 with 33 runs scored, 12 doubles, four triples and 42 RBI.  He tops the team in RBI, doubles, triples and is second with seven home runs.  In MW play he batted .301 with 14 runs scored, seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and drove in 21.

Nevada opens play in the MW Championship tonight against Fresno State at 7 p.m. at Pete Beiden Field in Fresno, Calif.


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