Senior Austin Byler hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning and No. 29 Nevada swept Pacific behind a 13-12 victory Monday at Peccole Park. In a game that lasted four hours and 35 minutes, the Wolf Pack (10-1) and Tigers combined for 25 runs and 36 hits in Nevada's highest scoring affair of the season.
The 2-3-4-5 spots in the Wolf Pack's lineup went a combined 13-of-21 at the plate with nine RBI and nine runs. The Tigers overcame two separate five-run deficits to force Nevada's second extra inning game of the season. The Pack loaded the bases in the bottom of the 11th with no outs before Byler secured his second walk-off of the year, scoring freshman Cal Stevenson with a single to left field to plate the winning run.
Byler, a pre-season All-American, went 3-of-5 with three runs scored and improved his batting average to .417. Junior Ryan Howell hit two home runs and went 4-of-5 batting with four RBI and three runs. Howell, a native of Brentwood, Calif., is now tied for the lead in home runs nationally with five.
Nevada – off to its best start in program history – has now swept all three of its three-game series in 2015, matching its total series sweeps from last season in just 11 games. The Pack defeated the Tigers 5-1 on Friday and 7-4 on Sunday.
“This was a gutsy performance by our guys,” said head coach Jay Johnson. “We received a lot of clutch performances across the board. We were fortunate to win that game.”
Sophomore Trenton Brooks hit a two-RBI single in the first and third innings as the Wolf Pack jumped out to a 6-1 lead through three. After the Tigers pulled within one run with a four-run fourth inning, Howell hit his first homer of the game – a two-RBI jack to left field – to put Nevada ahead, 8-5.
The Tigers chipped away with two runs in the sixth before the Wolf Pack opened its second five-run lead of the game when scoring four in the bottom of the sixth. After Byler doubled to lead off the frame, Howell hit a near-identical home run over the left, center field fence to plate two runs. Later in the inning, senior catcher Jordan Devencenzi scored two runs on a sac bunt with terrific base running from Brooks and senior Jay Anderson.
The Wolf Pack led, 12-7, after the sixth inning but the Tigers scored three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to tie the game.
Nevada used seven pitchers in relief of junior RHP Michael Fain, who allowed four earned runs in three innings. Senior Adam Whitt (2.0 IP), Stevenson (1.0 IP) and sophomore Evan McMahan (1.0 IP) held the Tigers scoreless in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings to set up Byler's walk-off.
Stevenson, a two-way player from Fremont, Calif., made two appearances on the mound in his Wolf Pack pitching debut before leading off the 11th with a double to left, center. Senior Kyle Hunt was hit by a pitch and senior Kewby Meyer drew a walk to load the bases with no outs.
Facing Pacific's sophomore RHP John Jaeger on a 0-1 count, Byler singled down the left field line to score Stevenson with ease for the winning run. Byler previously hit a walk-off this season with a home run in Nevada's 9-8 extra-inning win over Fresno State.
Stevenson earned the win on the mound, allowing one hit and no runs through four batters faced in the 10th and 11th innings. McMahan also pitched in the 10th and 11th frame, allowing no hits while facing three batters.
Hunt (2-of-5), Meyer (3-of-7), Byler (3-of-5), Howell (4-of-5) and Brooks (3-of-4) each led Nevada with multi-hit games while eight of nine players in the starting lineup recorded a hit. Overall, the Wolf Pack played 13 position players and eight pitchers in the victory.
The Wolf Pack will return to action tomorrow, hosting UC Davis on Tuesday at Peccole Park. First pitch between the Pack and Aggies (8-4-1) is set for 4 p.m. PT.