Pack Fall To San Jose State 6-4 In 12 Innings
RENO, Nev. - The University of Nevada (27-18-1, 8-7-1 WAC) baseball team was unable to complete the four-game Western Athletic Conference series sweep of San Jose State University (18-29, 6-10 WAC) falling 6-4 to the Spartans in 12 innings at Peccole Park on Mother's Day Sunday afternoon. The Wolf Pack won the first three games of the series which marks the first WAC series win this season. The Pack are now 27-18-1 and 8-7-1 in conference play while the Spartans improved to 18-29 and 6-10 in the WAC.
SJSU scored twice in the top of the first inning when left fielder Kerry Jenkins singled home two runs with two out. Pack catcher Carlos Escobar tied the game in the bottom of the second inning hitting his fourth home run of the season that scored right fielder Brian Barnett after he singled to start the inning.
The Spartans regained the lead scoring a run in the top of the fifth inning on two hits. Right fielder Tim Quiery singled and moved to third base on second baseman Karson Klauer's double. A walk to catcher Corey Valine loaded the bases for Jenkins who hit into a 4-6-3 double play but Quiery scored the go ahead run.
Nevada took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when pinch hitter Cullen Mahoney walked and first baseman Shaun Kort followed with his seventh home run of the season. The seven home runs established a new season career-high for the senior.
Valine's double in the top of the seventh inning tied the game at 4-4. Center fielder Jason Martin single to start the inning and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on the Valine double.
The game remained tied until the top of the 12th inning when SJSU scored two unearned runs on three hits. Shortstop Richie Johnson singled and advanced to second base on a throwing error by catcher Michael Turay on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Attempting to sacrifice both runners into scoring position Martin laid down a perfect bunt single to load the bases with nobody out. Reliever Mat Keplinger came out of the bullpen and got ground ball to Mahoney at second base that cut down the runner trying to score. A popup to Mahoney recorded the second out of the inning but Valine singled to right field scoring what proved to be the winning runs.
The first two Pack hitters in the bottom of the 12th were retired before designated hitter Brock Stassi doubled to right center. Third baseman Garrett Yrigoyen hit a ground ball to third base and Stassi was tagged out trying to advance as the game ended.
Tyler Graham (3-5) suffered the loss allowing the two unearned runs in the 12th inning. SJSU reliever Zack Jones (4-1) earned the victory pitching 5.2 shutout innings giving up just two hits and struck out four to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Both team wasted several scoring opportunities in the game as the Pack left 12 runners on base and SJSU 17. The Pack hit into four double plays in the game and the Spartans one.
Kort (3-for-5,R,2RBI) and Barnett (3-for-6,R) led the Pack with three hits each while Escobar (2-for-4,R,2RBI) finished with two. Kort and Escobar each drove in two with their home runs to account for all the Nevada scoring. Left fielder Nick Melino (1-for-6) extended his hit streak to 11 games with a single in the seventh inning. The 11-game hit streak ties his career high set earlier this season and is the high by a Pack player this season.
Valine (4-for-5,3RBI) topped SJSU with a game-high four hits and three RBI. Martin (3-for-7,3R) and Klauer (3-for-7,R) contributed three hits apiece and Johnson (2-for-6) added two.
Next action for the Wolf Pack is Friday when they travel to Sacramento State to begin a four-game WAC series at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's doubleheader gets underway at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday's single game is a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.