Powers number 17 to be retired Friday
Pack hosts New Mexico this weekend
Pack hosts St. Mary's Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Pack in third place
There?s not a whole lot of flash and glitter associated with Nevada senior Matt Ortiz. Simply put, he does what?s asked of him by coaches and he?ll do whatever is necessary to help the team win.
As a sophomore transfer Ortiz learned the third-base position because that?s what the Wolf Pack needed most. In 1999 he slid behind the plate to take over signal-calling duties. Now, in the year 2000, Ortiz will be asked to play yet another position: outfield.
No complaining. No sulking. Ortiz is prepared to make the move because the team?s best interest is at hand.
?He gives us three players in one, giving us the flexibility to do a lot of things with our offense and defense,? said coach Gary Powers.
Defensively Ortiz has displayed the ability to adapt to each position and offensively he has been solid.
He turned himself into a First Team All-Big West catcher last season, earning the honor by adapting to his new role.
He hit .302 through the first 30 games last season while learning his new position, but then exploded to hit .416 with seven homers and 35 RBI over the final 24 regular-season games and had at least one hit in each of Nevada?s four post-season games.
?Matt doesn?t like to get beat, personally or from a team standpoint,? Powers explained.
And his drive and determination only seem to make him better. He raised his average 30 points from his sophomore to senior season and improved his totals for hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and stolen bases.
In fact, he closed out his sophomore campaign with a 10-game hitting streak and will now open the 2000 season with a 17-game hit streak.
?He is a player who knows how to play when the pressure is on,? Powers said. ?He is usually at his best when we face the better pitchers.?
The better they are, the better he gets. It may not be fancy, but it has been the ingredient for success in Ortiz? career.
HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football and baseball at Helix High in La Mesa, Calif. He was a member of the football team that won two conference titles and the conference championship baseball team. Named all-conference all three years with baseball team and was Grossmont Player of the Year as a senior.
PERSONAL: A general studies major who hopes to become a firefighter. Born 4/18/78. He is the son of Larry and Mary Ortiz. He enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family. His greatest sports moment was receiving a scholarship to play baseball because of the financial burden it took off his family.
QUOTE FROM COACH POWERS
?We just need him to remain consistent. That is what he usually is all about and that is all we expect.?
Year BA G AB H R RBI 2B 3B HR SB/A SLG. 1998 .335 52 200 67 47 60 13 1 7 1/1 .515 1999 .364 58 220 80 48 72 18 1 11 7/8 .605 Ttl .350 110 420 147 95 132 31 2 18 8/9 .562