Nevada Travels to Loyola Marymount
Pack Notes: Nevada head coach Gary Powers is in his 29th season as the leader of the Wolf Pack baseball program...Powers, the longest tenured coach in the history of Nevada athletics, will coach his 1,540th game at Loyola Marymount on Friday...Powers is 19-24 all-time vs. Loyola Marymount...senior Brock Stassi (UTI) and senior Brian Barnett (RF), were named to the preseason WAC Coaches’ team...Nevada was picked third in the WAC Coaches’ preseason poll...Nevada returns five starting position players and three starting pitchers from last season and will welcome 13 new players to the squad in 2011...Stassi was named the 2010 WAC Pitcher of the Year after going 7-4 a 3.43 ERA and 67 k’s in 78.2 innings...Stassi also earned second-team All-WAC utility honors...OF/IF Brian Barnett, RHP Jeremy Cole and OF Nick Melino also earned second team All-WAC honors in 2010.
AT THE PLATE:
ON THE MOUND:
The University of Nevada baseball team returns 16 letterwinners from a club that went 36-22-1 overall and 14-9-1 in the Western Athletic Conference in 2010 to finish tied for second. Nevada returns six starting position players and three starting pitchers from last season including defending WAC Pitcher of the Year, Brock Stassi. The Pack will welcome 15 new players to the squad in 2011.
From May 2 on, the Pack finished strong winning 11 of their last 14 regular season games to finish tied for second in the WAC. The Pack lost their WAC tournament opener to San Jose State, but followed the loss with victories over Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State. The 2010 season ended in an extra inning 7-6 loss to San Jose State.
Even though rosters change from year to year, one constant is head coach Gary Powers who will enter his 29th season in 2011. The longest tenured coach in the history of Nevada athletics, Powers won his 850th game in 2010 when the Pack beat Sacramento State 11-0 on May 16.
Second year Assistant Coach Chris Pfatenhauer will handle the infielders and defense, while also serving as the head recruiting coordinator. Buddy Gouldsmith will work with the outfielders, hitters, and coach third base in his first year at Nevada. Reno native Pat Flury will work with the pitchers in his first season as the Volunteer Assistant Coach.
Eight pitchers who earned letters last season return in 2011 and will be counted on to be the nucleus of the staff and replace LHP Chris Garcia and closer Tyler Graham.
Three of the top starters from last season return in seniors Brock Stassi and Jeremy Cole and sophomore Tom Jameson. The Wolf Pack went 19-12 last year in games started by the trio and they are expected to lead the team on the mound again this season.
Stassi went 7-4 with a 3.43 ERA in his 13 appearances, 12 being starts in 2010. The lefty was named the 2010 WAC Pitcher of the Year after leading the Nevada staff with 78.2 innings pitched, seven wins, and posting a conference-low 3.43 ERA. In his second year seeing time as the Pack’s designated hitter, Stassi earned second team All-WAC utility honors after hitting .364 with four home runs, nine doubles, and 42 RBI.
Jeremy Cole earned second team All-WAC honors in his first year at Nevada. Cole was 4-3 with a 4.95 ERA as a junior after transferring from Sierra College. Cole ranked in the top ten in the WAC in ERA, opponent batting average (.267), complete games (3), and walks per game (3).
Sophomore right-hander Tom Jameson will return to the weekend rotation in his second season at Nevada and will once again pitch numerous innings for the Pack. Jameson went 6-1, with two saves and a 3.84 ERA in 65.2 innings of work in his freshman year. Jameson earned Louisville Slugger All-America honors and was named to the WAC All-Tournament team after nearly throwing a perfect game vs. Louisiana Tech in the WAC tournament.
Junior Jayson McClaren made 15 appearances on the mound a year ago, starting once in the weekend rotation. He will once again battle for a spot as a starter, but could also be used in long relief. McClaren has started five games in his career and has a 1-3 career record and 7.51 career ERA in 56.1 innings pitched.
Senior lefty Matt Keplinger will once again serve as a reliever and left handed specialist. Keplinger’s 17 appearances last season tied him with three other teammates for the second most. Keplinger went 1-1 with a 6.92 ERA in 13 innings in 2010.
Junior Rickey Denham is challenging for a spot in the weekend rotation in his second year at Nevada. Denham was 0-2 with a 10.25 ERA in nine appearances, five being starts, while striking out 13 batters in 26.1 innings.
Senior Tyler Rogstad will pitch in a middle relief role once again in 2011. Rogstad posted a 12.79 ERA and went 1-0 in seven appearances in his first year back from Tommy John surgery.
Junior Bryan Suarez will pitch in a middle relief role after appearing in only one game in 2010 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Suarez pitched one inning against San Francisco State March 17 giving up one run and one hit.
Joining the returning pitchers are seven newcomers, comprised of four junior college transfers, one division I transfer and two freshmen who are expected to contribute in their first season in the Silver & Blue.
Senior Mark Joukoff sat out last season after transferring from Kansas State University. Joukoff will pitch in middle relief and has a chance at seeing time in the weekend rotation in 2011.
Junior Troy Marks comes to Nevada after pitching two years at Fresno City College. Marks struck out 50 batters and posted a 1.79 ERA in 2010 and will likely battle for a spot to pitch in the starting rotation.
Junior Columbia Basin transfer Tim Culligan will pitch in relief and could see time as the closer in his first year at Nevada. Culligan had a career record of 15-2 in two seasons at Columbia Basin.
Junior Matt Gardner came to Nevada in 2010 after transferring from the College of Southern Nevada. Gardner used last season as a redshirt year while recovering from arm surgery and will see time in middle relief and perhaps the closing role in 2011.
Junior Jacob Overbay is slated to work out of the bullpen in his first year at Nevada. Overbay played two seasons at Edmonds Community College and helped the team win a league championship in 2010.
Freshman right-handers Sean Prihar and Braden Shipley will work out of the bullpen in their first year of collegiate baseball. The two are expected to see time in various roles in their first season. Prihar is a local product who comes to Nevada from Damonte Ranch High School and Shipley played his prep baseball at North Medford High School in Medford, Ore.
The Nevada infield will be without last year’s starting shortstop Kevin Rodland and first baseman Shaun Kort after both graduated. The Pack will rely on several newcomers and returners to fill the voids left by the duo. Five newcomers are battling for time in the infield along with three returners who should see significant time.
Last year’s starting third baseman Garrett Yrigoyen returns for his second year at Nevada. Yrigoyen started 41 games at third base in 2010 and will likely be the starter at the position in 2011. The junior hit .296 with 10 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 30 RBI. Yrigoyen provides experience and will provide a consistent bat in the middle of the lineup.
This year will be the third year for Joe Kohan at Nevada. Kohan is an extremely versatile infielder who provides two years of Division I experience. Kohan hit .354 with four doubles, one triple and one home run in 2010. The junior started two games at third base, three games at shortstop and 22 at second base in 2010 and will likely see time at second base and short stop in 2011.
Senior Brian Barnett who started 37 games in right field and 17 in left field will see playing time in the infield in 2011. Barnett, who earned 2011 preseason All-WAC outfield honors, started one game at first base in 2010, but will likely start the season as the Pack’s second baseman. Barnett had a spectacular season in 2010 entering the single-season Nevada record book in home runs (18), RBI (71), doubles (21), and slugging percentage (.701). Barnett will be expected lead the Pack offensively in 2011.
The five newcomers of the Nevada infield consist of one junior college transfer and four freshmen.
Seniors Waylen Sing Chow and Brock Stassi may see time at first base when not at their primary positions.
Hugo Hernandez is a junior college transfer entering his junior year after playing two seasons at the College of the Canyons. Hernandez is battling for playing time at first base and as the team’s designated hitter in 2011.
Carson City native Matt Rutledge redshirted last year in his first season at Nevada. Rutledge will likely see time at third base in a reserve role.
Loren Gardner-Young is a freshman from Seattle, Wash. who is battling for playing time at second and third base. Gardner-Young won league titles all four years in his high school career and will provide versatility off the bench.
Freshman Ray McIntire from Winters, Calif. could see time around the infield in a reserve role in his first year at Nevada.
Jake Schu is battling for the starting spot at second base in his first year at Nevada. The freshman from El Dorado Hills, Calif. Schu hit .375 his senior year at Oak Ridge High School and twice earned All-League honors.
The 2011 Nevada outfield will have a new look from the 2010 squad which featured senior Westley Moss in centerfield and Brian Barnett in right field. Moss started a record 59 games last season, entering him in the Nevada single season record book for 10th most all-time. The Pack will count on senior Waylen Sing Chow, sophomore Jamison Rowe and possibly newcomer Anthony Rosa to fill the void left by Moss’ departure. Barnett started 37 games in right field in 2010, but will see playing time at second base this season. Sing Chow, Rowe or Rosa will be called upon to step into the starting position in right field this year as well.
Sophomore Jamison Rowe will be called on to fill the shoes of Westley Moss. Rowe’s excellent speed makes him a threat on the base path and a defensive asset. Rowe, who hit .200 in a limited backup role to Moss, hit a grand slam against Seattle (4/17) last season and stole four bases in four attempts.
Sing Chow enters his fourth season at Nevada and has the ability to play all three outfield positions, first base and could also see time out of the bullpen as a left-handed specialist in 2011. He has not pitched or played infield yet in his career at Nevada, but the versatile veteran provides needed depth in the infield and on the mound. Last year he hit .250 and drove in eight runs in 44 at-bats last season. Sing Chow appeared in 38 games in 2010 and his 110 career games played make him one of the most experienced players on this year’s team.
Junior Nick Melino returns for his third season at Nevada. Melino will start in left field and could also see time as the Pack’s designated hitter. Melino tied for the WAC batting title last season after hitting .388 with seven home runs, 15 doubles and 35 RBI earning him second team All-WAC honors. Melino’s .352 average in 2009 and .388 average in 2010 were both team highs.
Freshman Curtis Frisbie will serve as a reserve outfielder in his first year at Nevada. The Redding, Calif. Product earned All-League, All-State and League MVP honors while lettering four times at Central Valley High School.
Reno native freshman Anthony Rosa will see time in right field and center field in his first year at Nevada. The Reno native lettered three times in high school and earned All-North and All-State honors in 2009 and 2010 as an outfielder.
The Pack has three catchers who will see time behind the plate this season in junior Michael Turay and sophomores Carlos Escobar, Jr. and Cody Collins. With the Pack playing four-game WAC series each weekend, which includes one doubleheader, all three should see time this season.
Escobar will begin the year as Nevada’s starting catcher after starting 23 games behind the plate in 2010. The strong-armed sophomore hit .221 with four doubles, five home runs and 14 RBI in 32 appearances his freshman season.
Turay started 30 games at catcher last year and will likely see significant playing time in 2011 as well. In 44 games he scored 17 runs and hit .189 with eight doubles, a home run and 13 RBI.
Sophomore newcomer Cody Collins, a junior college transfer from Middle Georgia College, will see playing time in his first year at Nevada and provide an offensive spark to the team. Collins hit .333 with two home runs and 15 RBI in his one season at Middle Georgia.
The Wolf Pack coaching staff will have a number of options at the designated hitter spot again this season.
When not on the mound, the left-handed hitting Stassi will be the Pack’s designated hitter. Stassi was the team’s primary designated hitter last season, earning the start in 46 games. In his second year hitting for the Pack, Stassi hit .364 with 16 doubles, a WAC-leading five triples, nine home runs and drove in 42 runs earning him second team All-WAC utility honors.
Brian Barnett and Nick Melino are other potential options to be the designated hitter. If not in left field, Melino could fill the role as the team's designated hitter once again where he started 10 games last season. Barnett started at designated hitter once last year.
Hugo Hernandez may also see time as the team’s designated hitter if not playing first base.
The 2011 schedule will be another challenge as the Pack plays eight games against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2010. Four of the eight games will come on the road where Nevada was 15-15-1 last season, and four will be at Peccole Park where the Pack went 19-6 last year.
The Pack opens the season with three games at UC Irvine who went 2-2 in the Los Angeles Regional bracket of the 2010 NCAA tournament. The Pack took two of three from UC Irvine at Peccole Park in 2010, improving Nevada’s all-time record versus the Anteaters to 6-8.
Nevada plays at California in the middle of their non-conference schedule before taking on Hawai’i at home for four games during WAC play. Like UC Irvine, California and Hawai’i also appeared in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Nevada will play its first six games of the season and 16 of its first 24 on the road. The Pack starts the season with back-to-back three-game weekend road series at UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount followed by a Tuesday Mar. 1 home opener vs. San Francisco State.
The first home series is scheduled for March 4-6 against in-state rival UNLV. The team then returns to the road for a Tuesday game at UC Davis before coming back to Reno for three games against Pacific.
Following the Pacific series at Peccole Park, Nevada hits the road for one game at Saint Mary’s Mar. 15, a weekend series at UC Santa Barbara Mar. 19-20, and a Monday matchup Mar. 21 at California to close out the five game road trip.
The Wolf Pack will then return home for one game against Saint Mary’s Mar. 22 before departing for three games at the University of Washington Mar. 25-27 and a Monday game at Seattle University Mar. 28.
Nevada begins a seven game home stand Apr. 1 with three weekend games versus Utah Valley University, followed by a Monday Apr. 4 game against UC Davis before the final non-conference home series against Seattle University begins Apr. 8.
The season-long home stand comes at a great time as the Pack travels to WAC preseason favorite Fresno State Apr. 15 to begin WAC play.
For the third year in a row the WAC regular season champion will be determined by a 24-game schedule. Fresno State, Hawai`i, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Sacramento State and the Pack will battle for the regular season conference title once again. Each team will play one four-game series with the six schools either at home or on the road. One day of the series will be a doubleheader, consisting of one nine and one seven inning game.
Nevada was picked to finish third in the Preseason WAC Coaches' poll, with Fresno State tabbed as the favorite.
The Pack begins WAC play with four games at Fresno State starting on April 15. The Bulldogs won the WAC in 2010 and were picked to finish first in the league in 2011.
After taking on Fresno State, the Pack plays New Mexico State in four games at Peccole Park Apr. 21-23, followed by a road trip to Louisiana Tech. The final two home series of the 2011 season come against Hawai’i May 5-7, and Sacramento State May 13-15. Nevada will close out the regular season with four games at San Jose State.
The top six schools based on regular season WAC play will travel to Mesa, Ariz. to play the season ending tournament at Hohokam Stadium, the spring training site of the Chicago Cubs. It will be the second time the season-ending tournament will be played at a neutral site. The tournament winner will receive the WAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.