After posting seven straight wins to open the season, the Nevada baseball team couldn't push its historic win streak to eight. Stanford (4-4) scored four straight runs and won on a walk-off double in the ninth to top the Wolf Pack (7-1) by a 6-5 margin Tuesday night at Sunken Diamond.
Nevada plated three runs in the fifth inning on a two-run homer from junior Ryan Howell and jumped out to a 5-2 lead. The Cardinal chipped away and held Nevada scoreless in the final three innings before taking its first lead of the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Senior LHP Barry Timko allowed five hits and two runs in four innings of work in his second start of the season, while junior Cameron Rowland allowed two hits and one run in 2.1 innings. Junior Ryan Howell led the Pack with two hits and three RBI.
“The team that deserves to win usually does and that was Stanford tonight,” said head coach Jay Johnson. “They played a little better defense tonight and their pitchers made big pitches at important times. Tip your hat to them.”
Nevada scored first for the fifth time this season as junior Ryan Howell plated senior Kewby Meyer on an RBI-single to left field. Meyer reached second via a single and stolen base. Nevada fell to 3-1 when scoring in the first inning this season. The Wolf Pack took a 2-0 lead in the third as Meyer singled to right field, scoring freshman Cal Stevenson – a native of nearby Fremont, Calif. - from second base.
Timko opened the game with three straight scoreless innings. The San Bruno, Calif., native allowed runners on the corners in the first frame and just one runner in the second and third, escaping each inning without allowing a run. Stanford finally got on board in the fourth inning, tying the game with two runs on two hits.
The Wolf Pack reclaimed its lead in the ensuing inning. Stevenson reached second base on a walk and wild pitch before Byler hit an RBI single into right field. Howell then blasted a home run – his third of the season - deep over the left field fence, scoring two runs to hand Nevada a 5-2 lead.
Junior Alex Lott entered the game in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases before Jojo Romero entered the game. The freshman from Oxnard, Calif., allowed one unearned run in the fifth and pitched into the 6th inning before making way for junior Michael Fain. The Cardinal tied the game, 5-5, in the sixth with two runs on three hits before the Pack turned a 6-4-3 double play to limit the damage.
Rowland made his fifth appearance of the season, stranding two runners on base in the seventh to keep the game tied. Meanwhile, Nevada was held scoreless in the final three innings. Rowland retired the side in the eighth before returning for the final inning.
Rowland registered a strikeout before issuing a single and intentional walk to put two runners on base. Facing freshman Matt Winaker with one out, the first baseman ripped a double down the right field line to score the game-winning run from second base.
The Wolf Pack finished with five runs on seven hits, including two hits apiece from Howell and Byler. Howell led Nevada, going 2-of-4 at the plate with three RBI and one run scored. Rowland pitched 2.1 innings in relief, allowing one run on two hits. Timko went 4.0 innings in his longest outing of the season, allowing two runs on five hits.
The Wolf Pack will return to Peccole Park this weekend, hosting Pacific for a three-game home stand. Game one between the Pack and Tigers (0-8) will get underway at 4 p.m. PT from Peccole. Nevada's next four games will be at home.