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Former Pack catcher to make stop in Reno

Former University of Nevada catcher Brett Hayes will be in Reno for a four-game series, Aug. 24-27 as the Omaha Storm Chasers, the triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals play against the Reno Aces at Aces Ballpark. 

Hayes played three seasons at Nevada from 2003-2005 and earned WAC Freshman of the Year and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors in 2003.  In his three seasons he we batted .339 with 237 hits, 132 runs scored, 156 RBI, 37 doubles, five triples and 22 home runs in 167 games.

After his junior season he was drafted in the second round by the Florida Marlins and signed a professional contract with the club.  He made his MLB debut with the Marlins on May 22, 2009.  After four seasons with the Marlins he signed as a free agent with the Royals and has spent time in both Kansas City and Omaha the last two years.

Miller's number 8 to be retired by Louisville Bats

Former Nevada catcher Corky Miller will have his number 8 retired by the Louisville Bats, the triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, on Corky Miller Night at Louisville Slugger Field on Aug. 31.  Miller's number will be the first to be retired by the Bats.

Miller played two seasons for the Wolf Pack in 1997-98 and was drafted by the Reds in 1998 and played 10 years in their minor league system.  He played in 216 Major League games for the Reds, Twins, Red Sox and Braves during his career.

He holds the Bats' all-time records for games played (548) and doubles (99).  Miller also ranks in the top five in at bats (1,703), home runs (50), hits (416) and RBI (236).

Miller started the season with the Bats but in May was placed on the inactive list.  He remains in the Reds organization working as a roving instructor in the minor leagues.

Shipley to play in MLB All-Star Futures Game Sunday

Shipley_Braden (1).jpgFormer University of Nevada pitcher Braden Shipley has been selected to play in the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in Minneapolis at 2 p.m. PT.  The game will be played at Target Field the site of Tuesday's MLB All-Star game at 2 p.m. PT and will air on the MLB Network.  Shipley will play for the U.S. team versus the World team.

Shipley the number two prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization is currently 5-6 with a 4.40 ERA this season having played in Visalia, Calif. and South Bend, Ind.  He has struck out 89 and walked just 27. 

The Medford, Ore. native was the highest drafted player in Nevada history being selected 15th overall by the Diamondbacks.

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 progressed into a first-round MLB selection.

In three seasons he compiled a 17-7 record with a 2.79 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 216 innings on the mound.  The 203 strikeouts ranks sixth in school history and .708 winning percentage is ninth.



Gimenez promoted to major leagues

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Former University of Nevada catcher/outfielder Chris Gimenez got the call from the Texas Rangers on Tuesday and was promoted to the major leagues from triple-A Round Rock where he was batting .259 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 31 games.  Gimenez played three seasons for the Wolf Pack from 2002-04 primarily in left field before being drafted by the Cleveland in 2004 after his junior year and signed with the Indians. 

Gimenez has played for four teams Cleveland, Seattle, Tampa and now Texas in five seasons at the major league level.  In the five seasons the versatile player has appeared in 143 games and played first base, third base, catcher and in the outfield.  He has a career batting average of .199 with 13 doubles, six home runs and 30 RBI as a major league hitter.

Klein graduating magna cum laude

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Former University of Nevada outfielder Brooks Klein is graduating with Latin Distinction - magna cum laude this week with a degree in Health Sciences.  Klein is the Senior Scholar for the division of Health Sciences for the May 2014 graduating class.  The honor indicates that he had the highest gpa of all graduates in DHS this semester.  He has been invited to carry the gonfalon for DHS.

Klein played two seasons for the Wolf Pack after transferring from Western Nevada College.  His junior year he earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors and was a second-team All-Mountain West selection as a senior.  He earned second-team Capitol One Academic All-America honors as a senior. 

In two seasons he played in 114 games and earned 112 starts for the Pack primarily in right field.  He batted .340 with 84 RBI and 15 home runs.

Kouzmanoff named AL Player of the Week

Former University of Nevada All-America third baseman was recently added to the Texas Rangers roster after not playing in Major League Baseball since 2011 but made his return memorable.  Kouzmanoff was named the American League Player of the Week for the week ending April 20.

In seven games last week, Kouzmanoff led the AL with eight RBIs and 20 total bases, while tying for the league lead in runs scored (six) and doubles (four). The 32-year-old ranked among league leaders with two home runs (T-2nd), 10 hits (T-3rd) and a .690 slugging percentage (4th) while hitting .345 (10-for-29) for the week.

Kouzmanoff hit safely in his first 10 games with the Rangers before being held hitless in Sunday's 16-2 loss to the visiting Chicago White Sox. His streak of hitting safely in 10 consecutive games to start his Rangers career fell one shy of Fred Manrique's club record of 11 (1989).

Saturday, Kouzmanoff provided the Rangers bullpen with some insurance, hitting a solo homer to lead off the eighth inning as the Rangers won 6-3.

On Thursday, he ignited the Rangers' offense with an RBI-double in the bottom of the first inning following an intentional walk to Prince Fielder. The early offensive outburst helped the Rangers earn an 8-6 victory and complete a three-game sweep of the Mariners in Arlington.

Kouzmanoff also played a key role in Wednesday's walk-off win over the Mariners. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, he legged out an infield single and eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at two before Leonys Martin's single gave the Rangers a 3-2 win.

On Tuesday, Kevin posted his first three-hit effort of the season, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs in a 5-0 win over the Mariners. The home run marked his first in the majors since September 25, 2011.

Kouzmanoff earned All-America and WAC Player of the Year honors for the Wolf Pack in 2003 after batting .361 with 12 doubles, 17 home runs and 67 RBI.  He made his MLB debut for Cleveland in 2006 and spent the next three seasons in San Diego after being traded to the Padres.  He played 143 games for Oakland in 2010 and 73 games combined for the A's and Rockies in 2011. 

Kouzmanoff gets the call

Former University of Nevada All-America third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff made his return to Major League Baseball when the Texas Rangers promoted him from Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday.  Kouzmanoff singled in his only plate appearance as a pinch hitter and remained to in the game to play third base as the Rangers lost 4-2 at Boston.

Kouzmanoff earned All-America and WAC Player of the Year honors for the Wolf Pack in 2003 after batting .361 with 12 doubles, 17 home runs and 67 RBI.  He made his MLB debut for Cleveland in 2006 and spent the next three seasons in San Diego after being traded to the Padres.  He played 143 games for Oakland in 2010 and 73 games combined for the A's and Rockies in 2011. 

Wednesday's pinch hit appearance was his first game at the Major League level since 2011.  He has played in 645 games at third base for five teams during his MLB career.

Pitchers gem in paradise

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The University of Nevada baseball team lost 1-0 at Hawai`i on Monday night at Les Murakami Stadium as both pitchers tossed complete game gems.  One rare occurrence was that only 52 batters came to the plate.  The 52 batters is the minimum that could come to the plate in a complete nine-inning game. 

Wolf Pack starter Tyler Wells suffered the loss allowing just two hits and struck out eight in a career-high eight innings.  Wells faced 25 batters, one over the minimum. 

The Rainbow Warriors leadoff hitter Stephen Ventimilia, in the bottom of the first inning was the only player that scored as he singled, stole second base and advance to third on the same play courtesy of a wild pitch.  Ventimilia scored the only run of the of the night on a groundout by Kaeo Aliviado.

After the single to Ventimilia Wells retired the next 18 batters before allowing a single to Aliviado in the seventh.  Wells caught Aliviado stealing second base and retired the next five batters to end the game.

UH starter Scott Kuzminsky earned the victory allowing two hits and walked just one facing the minimum 27 batters.  Pack first baseman Austin Byler walked in the first inning and was caught stealing.  Catcher Jordan Devencenzi singled in the fifth inning and was retired on a double play.  Byler singled in the seventh and was erased on a double play.

The only runner to get past first base in the game was Ventimilia in the first inning.

UH and Nevada last played a 1-0 game at Les Murakami Stadium on Apr. 29, 2004.  The Pack's Travis Sutton and the Rainbow Warriors Ricky Bauer both tossed nine shutout innings before both teams went to the bullpen.  UH scored a run in the bottom of the 10th inning with two out  to win 1-0.



Powers honored at Dolan Dinner

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Former University of Nevada head baseball coach Gary Powers was honored at the recently held Bobby Dolan Baseball Dinner for his 31 years leading the Wolf Pack baseball program.  Powers said a few words to the crowd of over 600 in attendance, at a dinner he started 30 years ago to raise funds for the Pack baseball program.  He received a standing ovation from crowd. 

Powers' #17 was retired and a banner was unveiled that will hang on the Peccole Park wall along with the many Major League Players that played for the Pack, many during his tenure. 

In his 31 years Powers won 937 games, earned conference coach of the year honors four times, led the Pack to four NCAA Tournament appearances, won three conference titles and two division titles.  He coached 17 players that played Major League Baseball, produced 17 all-Americans, 141 all-conference selections, four conference players of the year, three conference pitchers of the year and three conference freshman of the year.  MLB drafted over 75 of his players and over 90 played professional baseball.

In 31 years Powers had 20 winning seasons and won 30 or more games 17 times including seven years in a row.  Twice he guided the Wolf Pack to 40 win seasons with a school record 43 coming in 1992. 

In addition to coaching the Pack he played baseball at Nevada.  Powers earned bachelors and masters degrees from Nevada.

Shipley Diamondbacks No. 2 prospect

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Baseball America named former University of Nevada pitcher Braden Shipley as the number two prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.  Another pitcher, Archie Bradley was named the top prospect in the organization.  Shipley became the highest drafted athlete in the history of the University of Nevada when he was selected 15th by the Diamondbacks in the 2013 MLB Draft.

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 progressed into a first-round MLB selection.

In three seasons he compiled a 17-7 record with a 2.79 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 216 innings on the mound.  The 203 strikeouts ranks sixth in school history and .708 winning percentage is ninth.

Shipley could once again pitch in Reno as the Diamondbacks triple-A affiliate is the Reno Aces.

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