Melino's Ninth Inning Single Gives Pack 5-4 Victory Over Seattle
RENO, Nev. - University of Nevada (15-11) sophomore left fielder Nick Melino singled to right field with the bases loaded in the bottom the ninth inning to give the Wolf Pack a 5-4 victory over Seattle (3-20) at Peccole Park Saturday afternoon. With the win the Pack swept the three-game series to improve to 15-11 while the Redhawks dropped to 3-20.
Trailing 4-2 Pack shortstop Kevin Rodland's sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning, scored second baseman Joe Kohan to tie the game at 4-4. Kohan reached base on an error by SU third baseman Bryndon Ecklund.
It remained tied until the bottom of the ninth inning when first baseman Shaun Kort walked with one down and designated hitter Brock Stassi stepped to the plate. Stassi hit a ground ball to second base and the throw by Eric Yardley to try cut down Kort at second was wide as both runners moved to second and third base. Right fielder Ronnie Mitchell was intentionally walked to load the bases to setup the double play opportunity. Melino then delivered the game winning hit, driving a 2-2 pitch to right field to score pinch runner Jameson Rowe with the go ahead run.
Nevada got a two-run double from Stassi in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 2-0 advantage. SU responded with a four-run top of the second inning to move in front 4-2. A costly error led to three of the runs being unearned. Center fielder Doug Buser doubled home two of the runs, a bases loaded walk scored one as did a balk. It remained 4-2 until Rodland's home run tied the game and Melino's single proved to be the game winner.
Reliever Tyler Graham (2-3) earned the win retiring all nine hitters he faced. Graham entered the game in the seventh with bases loaded and no outs and retired the next three hitters to keep the game tied. SU reliever Max Whieldon (1-3) was tagged with the loss allowing the unearned run in the ninth.
Melino (3-for-5,RBI) led the Pack with three hits while Stassi (2-for-5,2RBI) and Kohan (2-for-3,R) had two each. Rodland and Stassi had two RBI apiece but Melino's RBI single in the ninth inning was the game winner.
Buser (2-for-5,2RBI) and third baseman Bryndon Ecklund (2-for-4,R) topped the Redhawks with two hits each. Buser drove in a team-high two for SU.
Nevada was scheduled to play UC Davis on Monday but that game has been rescheduled for April 20 at 6 p.m. do to snow and cold forecasted for the Reno area.
The Wolf Pack will next play an exhibition game versus the Reno Aces on Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. at Aces Ballpark. The Aces are the Triple AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. A portion of the proceeds from the game will benefit the Nevada Dugout Club.
The Pack will open Western Athletic Conference play next Friday at New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M. with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Pacific. Fans may listen to the action on ESPN 630 AM.