Senior Kewby Meyer hit a go-ahead, two-RBI triple in the fifth inning and the 19th-ranked Nevada baseball team won game one against Fresno State despite matching a season-low with three hits. The Wolf Pack downed the Bulldogs, 5-4, Friday night at Pete Beiden Field.
Sophomore Trenton Brooks went 2-of-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs to shoulder most of Nevada's offensive production. Nevada held the Bulldogs (16-18, 7-6) scoreless in the final five innings behind a trio of stellar pitching performances. Sophomore RHP Evan McMahan earned the win in relief, freshman LHP Jojo Romero didn't allow a baserunner in 2.2 innings and junior RHP Adam Whitt tallied his NCAA-best 12th save of the season.
The Wolf Pack improves to 27-7 overall while remaining tied with San Diego State atop the Mountain West standings with a 13-3 league record. Nevada has now defeated the Bulldogs in four-straight games for the first time since 2008-09. The Pack also improved to 10-5 on the road, eclipsing last year's road win total with 14 road games yet remaining this season.
“This was a good team effort tonight,” said head coach Jay Johnson. “Our bullpen was outstanding and our defense was solid. Although we were limited offensively, we took some good two-strike at bats early in the game and had some clutch hitting from veteran hitters.”
Nevada plated the game's first run after engineering a run on no hits in the top first. Freshman Cal Stevenson led off with a walk, took second on a throwing error, advanced to third on a fly out and scored on Brooks' RBI sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs responded with three runs in the bottom of the first to claim the lead. Junior Kevin Viers hit a two-RBI double and sophomore Joe Prior hit an RBI sac fly as Fresno State scored three runs on two hits in the first.
Nevada chipped away with one run in the fourth as Brooks led off with a double down the line. He reached third before scoring on junior Bryce Greager's RBI groundout. The Bulldogs again responded in their half of the inning, pushing their lead back to two with an RBI double to make it 4-2.
The Pack changed the tide in the fifth inning, scoring three runs to take a 5-4 lead. Brooks scored Stevenson for the second time with an RBI hit to trim the deficit to one run. With two runners on and two outs, senior Kewby Meyer roped a triple down the right field line to score junior Ryan Howell and Brooks.
Pitching coach Dave Lawn's bullpen was phenomenal, preserving a one-run victory while limiting Fresno State to no runs and just one hit in the final five frames. McMahan – a six-foot righty – entered the game in relief in the fourth inning and improved to 3-0 after allowing no runs and one hit in 1.2 innings.
McMahan did find trouble in the fifth, however, as the Bulldogs loaded the bases on one hit and two walks. Romero, a rookie from Oxnard, Calif., entered the game and earned a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam. Romero didn't allow a single baserunner in 2.2 innings of work, earning seven straight outs while striking out five. The six-foot lefty lowers his ERA to 2.31 on the season.
Entering the weekend tied for the Division I lead in saves, Whitt entered the game with a one-run lead and a save opportunity in the top of the ninth. The Carson City native earned two strikeouts and a popout to collect his 12th save. Whitt is now just one away from matching Matt Gardner's 2012 program record for saves in a season (13).
Nevada scored five runs on just three hits with no errors as Brooks (2-of-3) and Meyer (1-of-4) tallied the Pack's lone hits. The Bulldogs scored four runs on seven hits while committing three errors and using three pitchers in the loss.
Game two between the Wolf Pack and Bulldogs is set for a 6:35 p.m. PT first pitch Saturday at Beiden Field.