Nevada returned to the win column in a big way, lighting up the scoreboard in a 16-4 rout of San Francisco on Monday afternoon at Benedetti Field. Every starter in the Wolf Pack lineup recorded a hit as Nevada posted its second largest victory margin of the season with 16 runs on 18 hits.
After losing consecutive games for just the second time this season, head coach Jay Johnson's ball club showed mettle and offensive firepower in a dominating display. Nevada scored the game's first 10 runs to snap the Dons' (18-19) six-game win streak while improving to 28-9 overall.
Six players recorded multi-hit efforts in the Wolf Pack's second-highest offensive output of the season. Senior Kewby Meyer went 4-of-5 with four RBI and two runs while senior Austin Byler and junior Ryan Howell each homered. Nevada used seven pitchers to limit San Francisco to just two scoring innings.
“I feel very fortunate for the character of this team – not just the talent – and they showed a lot of that today,” said head coach Jay Johnson. “Going down our lineup, everybody was sharp and I'm proud of both our offense and the pitching staff.”
Nevada scored early an often, beginning with its highest scoring first inning of the season. Howell hit his 11th home run of the season before freshman Cal Stevenson hit a two-RBI single and the Pack went on to score seven runs with six hits in the first frame.
The Pack continued its scoring barrage in the fourth inning as Meyer hit his MW-leading 15th double of the season. Junior Bryce Greager followed with an RBI single as Nevada jumped out to a 10-0 lead, which was its most consecutive runs before an opponent scored this season.
The Dons got on the board with three runs in the bottom fourth but Nevada went back to work in the fifth, scoring two runs on three hits. Howell hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Stevenson – who led-off with a standup triple – before scoring on Meyer's RBI single.
Nevada scored four runs in the seventh frame to open a 16-3 lead. With two runners in scoring position, senior Austin Byler cleared the bases with a home run over the right field fence to plate three runs. The Peoria, Ariz., native has nine home runs on the season and 35 for his collegiate career. Among active Division I players, Byler ranks second in career homers.
Freshman Grant Fennell also hit an RBI double to left, center in the seventh frame before the Dons scored one run in its bottom half of the inning – the game's final run.
Sophomore LHP Trenton Brooks started for Nevada, improving to 2-0 on the hill after allowing two runs with four strikeouts in three innings. The two-way player also recorded one hit and scored three runs.
Meyer (4-of-5), Steveson (2-of-5), Howell (2-of-4), Byler (2-of-5), Greager (2-of-4) and freshman Jordan Pearce (2-of-5) each recorded multiple hits for Nevada. The Pack's 18 hits tied for its second most of the season.
The Wolf Pack has three days off before returning to action with another four-game road swing. Nevada will play at San Diego State (26-11, 14-4) in a battle of the league's top two teams, April 17-19 at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Pack will then play at the Toreros of San Diego – where Johnson spent eight seasons as an associate head coach - on Monday, April 20 at Folwer Park.