Nevada Baseball Team Begins Practice Friday In Preparation For 2010 Season

Reno, Nev. - The University of Nevada baseball team will begin practice on Friday at Peccole Park in preparation for the 2010 season opener Feb. 19 at Santa Clara.  The Wolf Pack return 18 letter winners, six starting position players and two starting pitchers from a squad that posted a 25-31 overall record and went 10-13 in Western Athletic Conference play in 2009.  The Pack will once again be led by head coach Gary Powers who enters his 28th season directing the program and surpassed the 800 win mark a year ago.  The longest tenured coach in Nevada history, his overall record stands at 820-652-4.

Heading the list of returners will be three players that earned WAC honors last season in senior first baseman Shaun Kort (second-team), senior outfielder Westley Moss (second-team) and sophomore designated hitter/outfielder Nick Melino (first-team).  Kort hit .329 and led the team with 62 RBI and 70 hits.  Melino earned Freshman All-America honors after hitting a team-high .352 and drove in 39 runs.  The speedy Moss patrolled center field and hit .305, scored 46 runs and had a team-high 15 stolen bases.

Senior shortstop Kevin Rodland enters his third season at Nevada and should hit at the top of the order after batting .267 with 26 RBI and 12 stolen bases a year ago.  Strong armed senior Brett Hart returns in right field and should improve on his offensive numbers from last season when he hit .286 with 29 RBI.  Junior Brock Stassi will again fill two roles for the Pack as a left-handed starting pitcher and designated hitter.  Offensively he hit .262 with four home runs and 18 RBI while on the mound he went 6-5 with a 6.63 ERA.  The six wins led the Pack in 2009.

Another left-hander that will be counted on is senior Chris Garcia who went 4-6 with a 6.02 ERA last season with a team-high 80.2 innings pitched.  Senior righty Tyler Graham is slated to work out of the bullpen after posting a 2-2 record with one save and a 4.75 ERA as a junior.  The Pack will again be counting on several newcomers to produce in their first season in the silver and blue both as position players and on the mound.