March 20, 2014
NEVADA HOSTS AIR FORCE THIS WEEKEND: After splitting a four-game nonconference series at Hawai`i the University of Nevada (9-11, 3-6 MW) baseball returns to Mountain West play hosting Air Force (4-15, 1-5 MW) in a three-game conference series. First pitch on Friday is set for 4 p.m. Saturday's game gets underway at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Nevada has lost its last two while the Falcons have dropped nine in a row.
Fri., Mar. 21- vs. Air Force - Reno, Nev. - Peccole Park (3,000) - 4:00 p.m. PT
Sat., Mar. 22 - vs. Air Force - Reno, Nev. - Peccole Park (3,000) - 2:00 p.m. PT
Sun., Mar 23- vs. Air Force - Reno, Nev. - Peccole Park (3,000) - 1:00 p.m. PT
Tue., Mar 25 - at UC Davis - Davis, Calif. - Dobbins Baseball Complex (3,500) - 2:30 p.m. PT
NEVADA WOLF PACK
Record: 9-11 MW: 3-6
Head Coach: Jay Johnson (Point Loma Nazarene, 2001)
at Nevada: 9-11 (First season)
Career Record: 46-27 (Second season)
AIR FORCE FALCONS
Record: 4-15 MW: 1-5
Head Coach: Mike "Kaz" Kazlausky (USAFA, 1991)
at AF: 52-129 (Fourth season)
Career Record: same
Series: Nevada leads 4-2.
Last Games: Nevada won four of the six games played last season.
In Reno: Pack 3-2, Pack 6-1 and Falcons 7-4.
In Colorado Springs: Pack 8-4, Pack 12-8 and Falcons 7-5
UC DAVIS AGGIES
Record: 11-9 BWC: 0-0
Head Coach: Matt Vaughn (UC Davis, 1992)
at UCD: 57-76 (Third season)
Career Record: same
Series: Nevada leads 47-32.
Last Games: Nevada won 11-10 at UC Davis and lost 10-7 at home.
Nevada hosts Grand Canyon on Mar. 31 and Apr 1. The Wolf Pack will also play an exhibition game with the Reno Aces, the triple A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Apr. 1.
NEVADA ON RADIO: Nevada baseball can be heard on 1060 AM with Don Marchand calling all the action. Pregame is 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
INTERNET BROADCAST: All three games of the Air Force series may be viewed at NevadaWolfPack.tv
FREE AUDIO: Free audio can be heard at http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/audio
LIVE STATS: http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/sports/m-basebl/sched/unv-m-basebl-sched.html
NEW LEADER: For the first time in 31 seasons the Nevada baseball program will have a new leader as Jay Johnson takes over for the retired Gary Powers. Powers won 937 games leading the Wolf Pack. Johnson comes to Nevada after spending the last eight seasons as associate head coach at the University of San Diego. He won his 40th game as a head coach when Nevada defeated SJSU 6-4 and is now four from 50 career wins.
26 IN ACTION: After four weeks of the 2014 season 26 players have seen action for the Wolf Pack, 17 position players and 10 pitchers. Freshman Trenton Brooks has done double duty playing in the outfield and pitching for the Pack. Of the 17 position players, 16 have made starts and eight played in the Silver & Blue for the first time. Five of the 10 pitchers took the mound for Nevada for the first time. Five different pitchers have earned starts.
HITTING: The longest hit streaks this season have been seven games by Kewby Meyer, Brad Gerig and Jordan Devencenzi. ... Meyer hit .387, Gerig batted .267 and Devencenzi .379 during their hit streaks ... Devencenzi has the longest active streak at four games ... Byler has reached base in the last 13 games and Devencenzi the last nine ... Gerig reached base in 10 consecutive games earlier this season ... Meyer (LF) and Byler (1B) are the only two players to start ever game and at the same position ... Shortstop Kyle Hunt is the only other player to appear in all 20 games and has started 17 all at shortstop ... Meyer's nine doubles ranks second in the MW ... Meyer tops the team with nine multiple hit games ... Meyer ranks fifth in the MW with 41 total bases ... Freshman infielder Justin Bridgman's four RBI at Pacific is the high by a Pack player this season ... Bridgman's six stolen bases is tied for second in the MW and three in conference play leads the league ... Byler leads the Pack with 14 RBI and two home runs ... Byler's two home runs is tied for fifth in the conference ... Trenton Brooks and Kyle Hunt hit home runs in the same game at SDSU ... Three of the Pack's six home runs came in the three-game series at SDSU ... Four home runs have been hit on 1-1 counts and two have been leadoff homers ... Meyer (.477) and Byler (.461) rank sixth and seventh in the MW in slugging percentage ... Devencenzi's .324 batting average tops the team and ranks 12th in the MW ... Devencenzi has been hit by pitch a MW high eight times and Hunt is tied for third being hit six times.
PITCHING: Three Pack pitchers rank in the top 20 in ERA in the MW with Michael Fain 12th at 2.67, Jason Deitrich is 14th at 3.47 and Barry Timko is 18th at 4.12 ... In the MW reliever Adam Whitt is fourth in opponent batting average (.192), tied for second with four saves, is tied for first with 12 appearances, is tied for first with 12 relief appearances and is second with nine games finished ... Whitt and Fain are tied for fourth with 10 batters struck out looking and tied for 10th with 23 strike outs in the league ... In MW play Fain is sixth with a 2.12 ERA and Whitt ranks seventh at 2.16 ... Whitt's .103 opponent batting average is tops in MW play and his two saves is tied for first ... Fain's .210 opponent batting average in MW play is sixth in the conference ... Reliever Colby Blueberg's 12 appearances and 12 relief appearances is tied for first in the MW ... Blueberg and Jason Deitrich have each hit six batters which is tops in the MW ... Mark Nowaczewski and Deitrich are tied for first in MW play having hit four batters each ... Fain is the only Pack pitcher to make a start each weekend.
TEAM NOTES: Nevada is fifth in hitting (.249), fifth in pitching (4.26 ERA) and sixth in fielding (.961) in the MW ... In MW the Pack are fourth in batting (.255), fifth in ERA (5.49) and second in fielding (.973) ... The Pack's 22 stolen bases is second in the MW and eight in conference play is first ... Four of Nevada's six home runs have come in MW play .. The four home runs in MW play is tied for first ... Nevada has hit MW high 29 batters and 19 in MW play is also tops ... Nevada snapped a six-game losing skid with a 6-4 win vs. SJSU ... The Pack has committed an error in 17-of-20 games this season ... Nevada had a season-high five errors in the season opening 4-1 win vs. Boston College ... Nevada's five stolen bases in the Mar. 2 SJSU game is the top performance in the MW this season ... The Pack's two home runs at San Diego State on Mar. 8 is tied for the most in a game by a MW team.
TIMKO AND WELLS: Junior lefties Barry Timko and Tyler Wells put together two incredible strings of retiring consecutive batters in the Hawai`i series.
In game two Timko allowed a single to start the second inning then retired the next 19 batters. The Pack rallied to win 10-6. Timko received a no decision.
In the final game Wells allowed a single to start the game then set down the next 18 hitters in a 1-0 loss. Both pitchers tossed complete games and faced the minimum 52 batters possible in a nine-inning complete game. Despite the outstanding performance Wells suffered his third loss of the season.
RALLY TIME: Nevada won three games in a row last week all coming courtesy of late inning rallies.
In the Pacific home game the Pack trailed 6-4 going to the bottom of the ninth inning and scored three runs on three hits to win 7-6. Freshman Trenton Brooks delivered a two-RBI single to score the tying and winning runs.
Trailing 4-2 going to the top of the eighth inning in the series opener at Hawai'i, the Pack scored five times on five hits on the way to the 7-4 victory. Bryce Barger and Justin Bridgmen had RBIs to tie the game at four. Austin Byler's bases clearing triple put Nevada up 7-4.
The next night at UH, Nevada waited until the top of the ninth inning scoring eight runs on just five hits to rally from a 6-2 deficit to win 10-6. Hawaii native Kewby Meyer's first home run of the season, was a three-run shot that tied the game at six. A wild pitch, bases loaded walk to pinch hitter Scott Kaplan, a sacrifice fly by Bridgman and a double by Kyle Hunt scored four more runs for the Wolf Pack.
CELEBRATE ALPHIE'S BIRTHDAY WITH THE PACK: Join the Wolf Pack baseball team on Saturday for a birthday party to celebrate Alphie turning 13. The party starts at 1 p.m. with first pitch versus Air Force scheduled for 2 p.m. Cake and cupcakes will be served to the first 300 fans.
RUN THE BASES AND GET AN AUTOGRAPH SUNDAY: After the game on Sunday run the bases at Peccole Park if you are in eighth grade or under then stick around to get an autograph from your favorite Wolf Pack baseball player. Those interested in running the bases or getting an autograph are asked to meet on the first base side after the game.
BASEBALL POSTERS AVAILABLE: Stop by the marketing table this weekend to get your 2014 Nevada baseball poster. Schedule cards will also be available.
JUNIORS TO LEAD OFFENSE: A pair of juniors are expected to lead the Pack offense this season in first baseman Austin Byler and left fielder Kewby Meyer. Byler hit .346 with 35 runs scored, 10 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 40 RBI his sophomore season. He is making the transition from third base to third base this season. Currently he is batting .276 with 13 runs scored, four doubles, two triples, two home runs and a team-high 14 RBI.
Meyer batted .302 with 28 runs scored, 11 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 18 RBI last season. He is hitting .314 and tops the team with 15 runs scored, nine doubles and 27 hits.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS: College Sports Madness selected first baseman Austin Byler, outfielder Kewby Meyer and left-handed pitcher Tyler Wells to their Mountain West preseason first team.
Byler batted third or fourth most of last season and hit .346 with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 40 RBI.
Meyer saw most of his action at first base but also in left field where he will begin the 2014 season. He batted .302 with 28 runs scored, a triple, two home runs and 18 RBI. Look for him to bat leadoff in his junior season
Wells worked in the weekend rotation starting 15 games and posted a 4-6 record. He tossed 82 innings and struck out 68 with an opponent batting average of .292.
BYLER RECEIVING RECOGNITION: Junior first baseman Austin Byler has been receiving plenty of recognition heading into his junior season. Byler was named the Mountain West preseason third baseman although he will move to first base this year.
Baseball America ranked him as the 48th best prospect among college juniors and Perfect Game had him 51st. Perfect Game and College Sports Madness named him to their MW preseason teams.
BREAKING DOWN THE SQUAD: First-year head coach Jay Johnson returns 17 letterwinners from last years squad that went 25-32 overall and 11-19 in the MW. The 17 returners will be joined by 13 newcomers.
Six returning starting position players are back in first baseball Austin Byler, outfielder Kewby Meyer, shortstop Kyle Hunt, catcher Ryan Teel, outfielder Brad Gerig, and second baseman Scott Kaplan. The lone returning starting pitcher is lefty Tyler Wells.
PITCHERS GEM IN PARADISE: 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.