Nevada Begins Play In Mountain West Championship Wednesday
May 20, 2013
NEVADA TO PLAY IN FIRST MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP
NEVADA FINISHES FIFTH: Competing for the first time in the Mountain West Nevada finished the regular season fifth with a 11-19 conference record. The fifth seeded Wolf Pack will play Fresno State who earned the fourth seed based on their 14-16 MW record on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Pete Beiden Field in Fresno, Calif.
New Mexico (25-5) won the regular season championship to earn the top seed and a first round bye. UNLV (18-12) finished second and will also receive a bye. SDSU (15-15) is seeded third and Air Force (7-23) sixth and will play Wednesday at 3 p.m.
The right-handed Shipley is 7-3 with a 2.81 ERA, with 94 strikeouts in 99.1 innings on the mound. In Mountain West play his record stands at 5-3 with an ERA of 2.76 in 71.2 innings.
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.
Shipley started the weekend by tossing 6.2 shutout innings to earn his seventh win of the season as the Pack won 7-1. He allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out two.
Wells was the only one of the three that allowed any runs but both were unearned. He earned a no decision despite pitched 6.2 innings, allowing three hits, struck out six and walked three. The Pack lost 4-3 in 10 innings.
Jameson was outstanding pitching eight shutout innings allowing four hits, struck out three and walked five. He left with the Pack leading 3-0 but the bullpen could not hold the lead and he received a no decision. Nevada won 4-3 on a walk-off home run from third baseman Brad Gerig on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth.
KLEIN IN THE MW: Nevada right fielder Brooks Klein ranks in the top 10 in seven offensive categories in the MW.
Klein is tied for fifth with four triples, is sixth in total bases (110), tied for sixth in home runs (7), is sixth in RBI (42), is tied for eighth in hits (69), ranks ninth in slugging percentage (.539) and is 10th in batting average (.338).
The Pack is 18th in double plays (54) and 21st in double plays per game (1.0). Nevada is also 57th in triples (16), 65th in triples per game (.30), 94th in doubles (93), 65th in home runs (30), 75th in home runs per game (.56), 41st in sacrifice bunts (56), 83rd in sacrifice flies (24) and 66th in hit by pitch (66).
Third baseman Austin Byler is 89th in home runs (8) and slugging percentage (.566).
Senior outfielder Brooks Klein is 100th in total bases (110).
Three Pack pitchers appear in the national rankings. Freshman Michael Fain is 56th with nine saves. Junior Braden Shipley ranks 29th with 94 strikeouts and 73rd with just 6.98 hits per nine innings.
Shipley and sophomore lefty Tyler Wells are 14th with 14 starts on the season.
Nevada is just 7-7 in Shipley starts and Wells starts. Three times 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 17-7 with a 2.81 ERA, has 195 strikeouts, three complete games and has thrown 208 innings.
Shipley has 11 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. At Fresno State he allowed no runs, one hit and struck out 10 in a no decision.
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 7-10 with 4.98 ERA. He has 93 strikeouts in 141 innings on the mound.
Wells has seven quality starts and twice struck out a career-high nine this year at Utah Valley and at home against UNLV.
Fain earned the closer job in his first season in the Silver & Blue. Fain has been integral in 12 of the Pack's 24 victories with three 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 is second in the Mountain West with nine saves and 56th nationally. In MW play his four saves is tied for second in the conference.
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.
Four times Fain has blown saves at Utah Valley, versus New Mexico, one at home and one on the road and home agaisnt SDSU but Nevada did win the game with Aztecs..
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. At FS he struck out 10 in seven innings, allowed one hit and received a no decision. His career-high of 12 strikeouts came last season at Hawai`i.
Hernandez has played in 38 games and earned 22 starts, 14 at first base, six at designated hitter and two at third base. His .348 batting average is tops on the team.
In game 2 at Air Force he was 4-for-5 with two runs scored, had three doubles and drove in five runs. The four hits, three doubles and five RBI are all career highs. In the two games in which he played at AF he batted .778 (6-for-9) with three runs scored, four doubles and drove in five.
In his last 16 games played the Sylmar, Calif. native is batting .400 (20-for-50) with 11 runs scored, has 10 RBI, eight doubles and two home runs. His on base percentage is .489 with a .775 slugging percentage in the 13 games. Twice this year he has hit pinch hit home runs at Utah Valley and home versus New Mexico.
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 59 career games his record is 20-17 with a 4.23 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.
Klein had has his streak of 63 consecutive starts come to an end at Utah Valley when he did not get the start on March 8. Klein did pinch hit in the game and popped up to left field. The pinch hit appearance kept alive his streak of playing in every game in his two seasons at Nevada. Another first in the UVU series was his first start other than in the outfield earning the nod at designated hitter and he went 3-for-4 with a run scored.
On the season he is batting .257 with 16 runs scored, nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and 17 RBI.
In Gerig's first game starting at third base versus Sac State he collected three hits and followed that in the next game with four against San Diego State. In the SDSU game he perfect at the plate in four at bats, with all four hits going for extra bases, three doubles and a triple. He also scored two runs and drove in four.
In the final game of the SDSU series he delivered a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning hitting the first pitch he saw over the left field fence to give the Pack a 4-3 victory. It was his second walk-off hit of the season with the first coming the opening weekend versus Kansas in Mesa, Ariz. In the KU game he doubled home two runs in the bottom of the ninth with two out to give the Pack a 9-8 victory over the Jayhawks.