Simas Three-Run Homer Gives Nevada 12-11 Victory Over Fresno State
Reno, Nev. - University of Nevada(25-18, 12-8 WAC) junior catcher Travis Simas hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Wolf Pack a 12-11 victory over Fresno State(26-20, 14-6 WAC) at Peccole Park Sunday afternoon before the largest crowd of the season of 1,390 fans. With the victory the second place Pack won three of the four games in the Western Athletic Conference series to improve to 25-18 on the season and 12-8 on conference play. The WAC leading Bulldogs lost a conference series for the first time this season leaving them 26-20 overall and 14-6 in league play.
FS scored five unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning on a three-run homer by second baseman Erik Wetzel and a two run shot from first baseman Alan Ahmady to take the lead 11-8. All five runs were unearned after Pack third baseman Jason Rodriguez’ committed a throwing error.
In the bottom half of the eighth inning left fielder Matt Bowman got things started with a double but the next two hitters were retired as he stood on third base. Right fielder Mike Hale delivered an RBI single to score Bowman and designated hitter Terry Walsh followed with a single. Simas then stepped to the plate hitting .188 and fouled off pitch after pitch from FS reliever Jason Breckley. With the count 2-2 and after fouling off four pitches in a row he hit the 10th pitch of the at bat over the left field fence to put the Pack on top 12-11.
FS third baseman Tommy Mendonca started the bottom of the ninth inning with a single off reliever Jacob Kaup and senior Rod Scurry, the Friday night starter, then made his first career relief appearance for Nevada. Scurry retired just two batters in his start Friday night and was tagged with the loss. He got the first hitter he faced Sunday, Bulldog center fielder Gavin Hedstrom to ground into a 4-6-3 double play and there were two out. It was the fourth double play turned by the Pack in the game. Pinch hitter Jordan Ribera came off the FS bench and hit a long foul ball home run in the at bat but struck out on a high pitch from Scurry to end the game.
After Nevada wasted a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning by center fielder Jason Sadoian the Bulldogs took advantage of a leadoff double from Ahmady in the top of the second inning to score the first run of the game. A bunt single by catcher Ryan Overland moved Ahmady to third base for right fielder Steve Detwiler who delivered a sacrifice fly to score him from third base. Mendonca then hit into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Pack scored five times in the bottom of the second inning to move in front 5-1. Shortstop Kevin Rodland's sacrifice bunt scored Hale with the tying run after he had started the inning being hit by pitch. Sadoian and Rodriguez each had two RBI doubles in the inning to put Nevada on top.
The Bulldogs tagged Pack starter Derek Achelpohl for a pair of runs in the third inning to knock him out of the game. After the first two hitters of the inning were retired the next five FS batters reached base. Left fielder Steve Susdorf and Ahmady accounted for the two RBI in the inning.
Nevada got the two runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning when Rodriguez doubled to right center field as Sadoian and Bowman scored. Sadoian started the inning with a single and Bowman reached on catcher's interference. Rodriguez drove in the first run but the second scored on an error by FS right fielder Steve Detwiler.
FS catcher Ryan Overland blasted a two-out three-run homer in the top of the fifth inning to pull the Bulldogs within a run at 7-6. Sadoian's third double and fourth hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning scored Rodland after he walked, with the Pack's eighth run of the day. It remained 8-6 until the fireworks by both teams in the eighth inning.
Pack reliever Jacob Kaup(1-0) earned his first win of the season retiring one batter in the top of the eighth inning and Scurry(1) earned his first save retiring the side in the ninth. Breckley(1-1) allowed four runs on four hits in 2.1 innings and suffered the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season.
Sadoian(4-for-5,2R,3RBI) tied his career high with four hits in the game and drove in three. Three of his four hits were doubles. Rodriguez(2-for-4,3RBI) and Walsh(2-for-5,2R) added two hits apiece. Sadoian, Simas and Rodriguez finished with three RBI apiece.
Ahmady(5-for-5,3R,3RBI) finished with a game-high five hits and tied for game-high honors with three RBI in the game. Wetzel(2-for-3,3R,3RBI) and Overland(2-for-3,R,3RBI) also had three RBI on the day.
Nevada returns to action with a four-game WAC road series in Ruston, La. versus Louisiana Tech next weekend.