Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short As Pack Unable to Complete Series Sweep Falling 11-10 To La Tech
Reno, Nev. - The University of Nevada(27-22, 11-7 WAC) baseball team’s ninth inning rally came up short as the Wolf Pack were unable to complete the three-game Western Athletic Conference series sweep of Louisiana Tech(33-19, 13-8 WAC) falling 11-10 at Peccole Park on Sunday afternoon. Nevada won 9-7 on Friday night and 9-0 Saturday evening to win the series 2-1. With the victory the Bulldogs moved one half game in front of the Pack into second place in the league standings with a 13-8 conference mark while Nevada dropped to 11-7. Overall the Wolf Pack are 27-22 while La Tech improved to 33-19 on the season.
La Tech got doubles from right fielder Jericho Jones and second baseman Nick Grunewald in the top of the ninth inning to score an insurance run which proved to be the winning run as they led 11-9 heading to the bottom half of the inning. Pack right fielder Mike Hale started the bottom of the ninth with a double and eventually scored on reserve third baseman Tyson Jaquez’ one out RBI single and he moved to second on the play after an error by Bulldog center fielder Adam Cobb. Jones came in from right field to pitch and retired the next two hitters to earn his first save of the season as La Tech held on for the 11-10 victory.
La Tech scored a run in the top of the second inning on two hits to take an early 1-0 advantage. First baseman Albie Goulder doubled, moved to third base on designated hitter Brandon Hudson's single where he scored on a wild pitch by Pack starter Kyle Howe. In the bottom of the second inning the Pack scored a run to tie the score a 1-1. Left fielder Terry Walsh singled and came around to score on Hale's RBI triple to the right center field gap.
The Bulldogs took the lead back scoring two runs on three hits in the top of the third inning to go in front 3-1. Catcher Matt Combs doubled and scored on center fielder Adam Cobb's single. Cobb moved to third on third baseman Drew Bunting's single and scored on right fielder Brian Rike's sacrifice fly. In the top of the fourth inning La Tech loaded the bases and on consecutive pitches attempted to steal home but balks were called on Pack reliever Jarad Mitchell and both runners scored. On a third attempt to steal home left fielder Patrick Thomas was tagged out on the pitch out to end the inning but the Bulldogs had increased there advantage to 5-1.
Nevada got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning when second baseman David Ciarlo doubled home left fielder Terry Walsh who drew a walk. The Bulldogs tacked on an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning when Cobb reached on an error and scored on a ground out to make the score 6-2.
Wolf Pack reserve catcher Owen Brolsma’s first collegiate hit in the bottom of the fifth inning scored third baseman Jason Rodriguez and first baseman Shaun Kort who reached after collecting hits and it was a two-run game at 6-4. Again La Tech responded scoring an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning when Jones tripled home Combs who reached on an error to increase their lead to three.
The big inning for the Pack came in the bottom of the sixth inning when nine hitters went to the plate and five scored. Kort plated one with a single, designated hitter Baker Krukow doubled home two and Walsh scored two with his single to put the Pack in front 9-7.
The Pack were unable to hold the lead as La Tech scored two in the top of the seventh to tie the game for the third time. The first run scored on a ground out off the bat Hudson and the second on an RBI single by third baseman Courtney Jones to tie the game at 9-9. Hudson put the Bulldogs ahead in the top of the eighth inning with his sacrifice fly that scored Drew Bunting from third to put the Bulldogs in front 10-9. It was a lead that La Tech would not relinquish as the added the insurance run in the top of the ninth inning and held on for the one run victory to avoid the series sweep.
Hudson(5-2) started the game at designated hitter the came in to pitch and got the win allowing just one run on four hits in 2.1 innings on the mound. Jones(1) retired the only two hitters he faced to earn his first save of the year. Mario Rivera(4-1) lost for the first time in the Silver & Blue allowing one run on three hits in his one inning of action.
Kort(4-for-4,2R,RBI) had a perfect day at the plate with four hits in four at bats, walked once, scored a run, and drove in one in the game. It was his second four-hit game of the series. Walsh(3-for-4,2R,2RBI) had three hits, scored two runs, and drove in two on the day. Rodriguez(2-for-6,2R) and Hale(2-for-5,R,RBI) contributed two hits each as the Pack totaled 16 in the game. Brolsma, Krukow, and Walsh each drove in two Pack runs.
Rike(3-for-5,R,RBI) led La Tech with three hits and drove in one. Jones(2-for-2,R,RBI), Bunting(2-for-4), Goulder(2-for-4,2R,RBI), and Hudson(2-for-4,R,2RBI) had two hits each. Hudson drove in a team-high two.
Next action for the Wolf Pack is Tuesday when Santa Clara comes to Peccole Park for a nonconference game at 5:00 p.m.