Nevada Knocks Off Hawai`i 11-1 On First Day Of WAC Tournament
Reno, Nev. - The University of Nevada(33-24) baseball won its first game of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament defeating Hawai`i(33-24) 11-1 in seven innings under the tournaments 10-run rule after seven innings of play at Peccole Park in Reno, Nev. With the victory the Wolf Pack improved to 33-24 while the Rainbows dropped to 33-24.
UH score a run in the top of the second on two hits to take a 1-0 advantage. First baseman Kris Sanchez singled and moved to second on a sacrifice fly. A bunt single by center fielder Brandon Haislet put runners on the corners for designated hitter Vinnie Catricala. Catricala struck out and catcher Landon Hernandez stepped to the plate. A double steal allowed Sanchez to score and Haislet moved all the way around to third on a throwing error by Pack catcher Konrad Schmidt. Hernandez grounded out to shot to end the inning but the Rainbows led 1-0 but that would be all the scoring for UH on the night.
Nevada scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning on two hits to take the lead. Designated hitter Terry Walsh reached on an error to start the inning and right fielder Dan Eastham followed with a single. A bunt by left fielder Matt Suleski moved both runners into scoring position for shortstop Chris Siewert. Siewert was hit by pitch to load the bases and second baseman David Ciarlo stepped to the plate. Ciarlo grounded to third base to drive home the tying run. Center fielder Jason Sadoian then delivered the big blow hitting a three-run homer over the left center field fence to put the Pack on top 4-1. It was Sadoian's first home run of the season and at Nevada for the first-year player.
The Pack added a fifth run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Suleski walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Owen Mackedon, and over to third base on a wild pitch. Ciarlo's sacrifice fly scored Suleski with Nevada's fifth run of the game. Nevada produced a second four-run inning in the bottom of the fifth inning. Eastham, Suleski, Mackedon, and Ciarlo each drove in a run in the inning. Suleski, Mackedon, and Ciarlo hit back to back to back doubles in the inning.
In the top of the sixth inning Jason Rodriguez and first baseman Shaun Kort hit back to back home runs to lead off the inning which gave Nevada the 10-run cushion it needed to end the game early.
Ryan Rodriguez(9-6), the WAC Pitcher of the Year, tossed a complete game to earn his ninth win of the season. Rodriguez allowed one run on six hits and struck out seven to bring his season total to 106 which is the fourth best single season in school history. UH starter Ian Harrington(7-8) suffered the loss allowing four runs on four hits in two innings on the mound.
Sadoian(2-for-3,R,3RBI) and Kort(2-for-3,2R,RBI) led the team with two hits apiece. Sadoian tied his career high with three RBI which he accomplished in his last game versus San Jose State giving him six RBI in the last two games. Ciarlo(1-for-2,R,3RBI) also drove in three Pack runs on the night.
Sanchez(2-for-3,R) and Haislet(2-for-3) led the Rainbows with two hits each.
In earlier action San Jose State used the 10-run rule to defeat Louisiana Tech 11-1 and the tournaments top seed, Fresno State knocked off Sacramento State 10-2. Friday's action has Hawai`i playing Sacramento State at 11:00 a.m. in elimination. The second game of the day has Fresno State playing Louisiana Tech. Nevada will again play the night game at 7:00 p.m. versus San Jose State. Attendance for day one of the tournament was 1,112.