Nevada Makes First Trip To Air Force
April 24, 2013
NEVADA AT AIR FORCE HOST SACRAMENTO STATE
DRAWING A CROWD: Nevada junior pitcher Braden Shipley has drawn a crowd at each of his nine starts this season. It's not your normal crowd of fans but a crowd of Major League Baseball scouts and executives who are there to evaluate one of the top pitching prospects not just in college baseball but in all of baseball. Baseball America ranked him 10th in their midseason 2013 draft top 50 as did ESPN. His fastball has been clocked as high as 99 mph.
The right-handed Shipley is 5-2 with a 2.59 ERA, with has struck out 75 in 73 innings on the mound. In Mountain West play his ERA of 2.38.
The Medford, Ore. native earned second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a shortstop as a freshman in 2011 but turned his attention to the mound as a sophomore. After going 9-4 with a league leading 2.20 ERA and 88 strikeouts last season he was named the WAC Pitcher of the Year. Pitching in the Alaska League last summer he was selected as the top prospect by Perfect Game.
UNM (14-4) is three games in front of UNLV (11-7) while the Rebles are one game ahead of San Diego State (10-8). There were three series sweeps in conference play last weekend. UNM swept the Pack and UNLV took all three from SDSU. FS won five games from Air Force which included two makeup games that were snowed out in Colorado Springs earlier this year.
Byler is second in home runs (8), slugging percentage (.628) and total bases (93). He is third in batting average (.365) and RBI (37). His .442 on base percentage ranks fourth and 54 hits is tied for fourth. He is tied with Klein for fifth with three triples.
In addition to being tied for fifth in triples, Klein is eighth in total bases (74). He is tied for 10th in slugging percentage (.490) and doubles (10). Three home runs and 28 RBI are tied for seventh. His 151 at bats ranks 10th.
The Pack is 22nd in double plays (40), 23rd in double plays per game (1.03), 57th in triples (12), 71st in triples per game (.31), 56th in sacrifice bunts (56), 63rd in sacrifice flies (18), 42nd in home runs (24), 49th in home runs per game (.62), 73rd in walks (157) and 90th in slugging percentage (.388).
Third baseman Austin Byler is 38th in home runs (8), 29th in total bases (93), 37th in slugging percentage (.628), 96th in triples (3), 83rd in RBI per game (.95) and 88th in hits (54).
Senior outfielder Brooks Klein is also 96th in triples (3).
Second baseman Scott Kaplan is 57th nationally with 28 walks and 47th averaging .78 walks per game.
Three Pack pitchers appear in the national rankings. Freshman Michael Fain is 19th with nine saves. Junior Braden Shipley ranks 14th with 75 strikeouts and 71st with 9.25 strike outs per nine innings. Shipley's 6.78 hits allowed per nine innings is 81st.
Shipley and sophomore lefty Tyler Wells are 21st with 10 starts on the season.
Nevada is just 5-5 in Shipley starts and 6-4 when Wells earns the start. Twice the Pack bullpen has been unable to hold late inning leads for Shipley including a five run cushion in the ninth at New Mexico. At SDSU Wells left with the lead but received a no decision.
Although Shipley is a junior both became starters in the Pack rotation in 2012. Shipley pitched just 10.1 innings his freshman year and was the Pack's starting shortstop and earned second-team all-WAC honors as an infielder after batting .287 with 19 RBI. As a sophomore he was 9-4 with a WAC low 2.20 ERA and was named the WAC Pitcher of the Year. He was named the top prospect in the Alaska League last summer and the hard throwing right hander usually draws a crowed of scouts each start. In his third season he is 15-6 with a 2.72 ERA, has 176 strikeouts, three complete games and has thrown 181.2 innings.
Shipley has seven quality starts this season. In his start at SDSU he allowed two runs on just three hits in a complete game 2-0 loss to the Aztecs.
Wells started last season 2-0 after three starts before going 1-5 in his next nine starts. He pitched the majority of the season with an injury that was not disclosed until the season was over and required surgery. A healthy Wells has given the Pack a more than solid number two starter behind Shipley. Another similarity between the two is that Wells also took a few swings with the bat as a freshman and earned one start at first base. His career record stands at 7-8 with 5.29 ERA. He has 68 strikeouts in 117.1 innings on the mound.
Fain earned the closer job in his first season in the Silver & Blue. Fain has been integral in 11 of the Pack's 20 victories with two wins and nine saves. Fain's nine saves is tied for the fourth best season in school history with Zach Basch (2003) and is tied for the seventh best career total with Doug Van Tress (1988-91) and Basch (2003).
Fain leads the Mountain West in saves and is 19th nationally. In MW play his four saves is tied for the conference lead.
In the Kansas series he was key in both Nevada victories over the Jayhawks. In game two he worked out of a no out bases loaded jam in the ninth to earn the save in the 2-1 Pack win. In the final game he pitched the final three innings of the game to earn his first victory at Nevada.
In game four of the Northern Illinois series he retired the side in the top of the ninth inning to record his second save. In game two against Holy Cross he pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save and in the series finale retired the only two hitters he faced to earn his second win.
At Pacific he recorded his fourth save of the season pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. His fifth save came at UC Davis when he retired the side in the bottom of the ninth which included two strikeouts. Save number six came in the Pack's first MW victory, a 3-2 win over Air Force. His seventh save came in the 3-2 victory at UNM when he pitched a scoreless ninth but had to work out of a jam and struck out the final batter with the bases loaded. At UNLV he earned saves in both Nevada wins.
Three times Fain has blown saves at Utah Valley and versus New Mexico, one at home and one on the road.
Shipley struck out 10 in eight innings at home versus Northern Illinois to earn his first win of the season. His second 10 strikeout outing was in a no decision in his start at Utah Valley pitching 6.2 innings and the third was 10 in a home loss to UNM. In his other seven outings he had six, seven, eight, three, eight, five and eight strikeouts. His career-high of 12 strikeouts came last season at Hawai`i.
Jameson won the 20th game of his career in a 5-4 victory at UNLV which moved him into a tie with Kody Kosman (1992-93) and Matt Rainer (1998-00) for eighth on Nevada's career victories list. Next on the list is John Patton (1991-94) and Kevin Lake (1993-94) who have 21 each.
In 55 games his record is 20-15 with a 4.14 ERA. Twice his freshman year he earned saves.
He had made 38 consecutive starts until working out of the bullpen in the Holy Cross series. Jameson tossed two innings against HC and allowed three runs on five hits. He returned to the rotation the next weekend starting the first game of the Utah Valley series.
Jameson's 38 consecutive starts was a combination of two starts this season and 15 in each of the previous two years. As a freshman he made nine starts which included the final six games of the season.