Nevada Opens WAC Play With 11-6 Victory Over Louisiana Tech
Reno, Nev. - The University of Nevada(9-8, 1-0 WAC) baseball team opened Western Athletic Conference play with an 11-6 victory over Louisiana Tech(13-7, 0-1 WAC) on Thursday night at Peccole Park. The Wolf Pack improved to 9-8 on the season and 1-0 in WAC play while the Bulldogs fell to 13-7 and 0-1 in conference play. It was the 2008 WAC opener for both schools.
The Bulldogs got a grand slam in the top of the first inning from first baseman Albie Goulder to take a 4-0 lead. The homer scored center fielder Adam Cobb, designated hitter Clay Alexander and right fielder Jericho Jones. Cobb and Alexander started the game with singles while Jones walked.
The Pack got three of the runs back in the bottom of the first to make it a one-run game at 4-3. The first run of the inning scored when third baseman Jason Rodriguez doubled home left fielder Matt Bowman who walked. First baseman Shaun Kort then followed with a home run and it was 4-3.
In the bottom of the third inning the Pack tied the game when Rodriguez doubled to start the inning, moved to third base on Kort's ground out to first base where he scored on designated hitter Terry Walsh's ground out to shortstop and it was 4-4.
Nevada scored a pair in the bottom of the fifth inning to move in front 6-4. Kort started the inning with a single and a Walsh double to put runners in scoring position. Following a strikeout by right fielder Mike Hale shortstop Kevin Rodland delivered a two-RBI single to center field that scored both runners to put the Pack on top.
The Pack tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it 9-4. Catcher Travis Simas delivered a two-out two-RBI single to score Kort and Rodland who both walked. Second baseman David Ciarlo then tripled to score the third run of the inning. In the top of the eighth Rodriguez hit his WAC leading sixth home run of the season that scored Bowman who reached on an error to put Nevada in front 11-4.
In the ninth Goulder tied Rodriguez for the WAC lead in home runs with his sixth of the season and second of the game. The Bulldogs scored their last run on a ground ball out by Cobb to make the final score 11-6.
After giving up the grand slam in the first inning Pack starter Kyle Howe(2-0) was dominate as he did not allow another hit and walked just three before coming out of the game with two down in the eighth inning. With the victory Howe improved to 2-0 on the season. Tech reliever Jamey Bradshaw(1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings on the mound.
Rodriguez(3-for-5,3R,3RBI) was the offensive star for Nevada with three hits, three runs scored and three RBI. Kort(2-for-3,2R,2RBI), Hale(2-for-3), Rodland(2-for-4,R,2RBI) and Simas(2-for-5,R,2RBI) added two hits each as the Pack totaled 14 in the game. Rodriguez and Kort both hit two-run homers on the night.
Goulder(2-for-4,2R,5RBI) led Tech with two hits and five RBI coming on his grand slam and solo home run.
Game two of the four-game series is slated for Friday night at 6:00 p.m.