The Nevada baseball team reached a historic milestone on its home opener Tuesday, collecting its 500th all-time victory at Peccole Park. The Wolf Pack (4-5) set season-high marks in runs and hits, using an 11-run fourth inning to defeat Santa Clara (5-4) by a 14-2 margin.
Nevada’s dominant display resulted in its 500th victory at Peccole Park, which has been home to Wolf Pack baseball since 1988. First-year head coach T.J. Bruce tallied his first career home win while the Pack improved its all-time home record at Peccole Park to 500-240 (.676).
The Wolf Pack used a prolific offensive effort to plate 14 runs on 18 hits. Junior Miles Mastrobuoni and sophomore TJ Friedl each went 4-of-5 at the plate to set career-high marks in hits. Senior Zach Wilkins started on the mound and improved to 2-0 this season, allowing just two runs in seven innings of work.
Nevada threatened in the first two innings before the Broncos escaped each frame by turning a double play. Santa Clara then drew first blood in the top of the third inning, plating two runs with four two-out hits. Senior catcher Justin Hazard responded for Nevada with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third inning, clearing the left field fence for his first career home run. Nevada chased SCU’s starting pitcher in the third but couldn’t pull any closer, trailing 2-1 after three.
The Wolf Pack then put on an offensive clinic in the fourth inning, sending 14 batters to the plate while scoring 11 runs on eight hits to take a 12-2 lead. Friedl hit a lead-off triple before scoring on sophomore Grant Fennell’s RBI single to tie the game. Junior Justin Bridgman hit a two-RBI double to left center and Mastrobuoni hit an RBI single to right field. Sophomore Jordan Pearce added a two-RBI single before Nevada added two more runs with bases-loaded walks. Junior Brandon Evans capped the inning with a bases-clearing triple to the right field corner, scoring three runs to put Nevada in front, 12-2.
Nevada tacked on another run in the fifth as Mastrobuoni hit a leadoff single for his third hit, stole second base and scored on Pearce’s RBI single. The Wolf Pack plated its final run in the seventh inning, taking a 14-2 lead. Mastrobuoni hit a leadoff double down the left field line and scored on freshman Kaleb Foster’s sacrifice fly.
Wilkins shined on the mound for Nevada, matching a career-high with strikeouts. The 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher out of San Diego scattered two runs on eight hits and two walks in 7.0 innings, which marked Nevada’s longest outing by a starting pitcher this season. Sophomore RHP Austin Dick made his season debut and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth frame, as did junior LHP Anthony Martine in the ninth to close out Nevada’s victory.
The Wolf Pack received a hit from all but one starter and also received five multi-hit performances. Mastrobuoni – who is now batting .519 on the season – led the team with four hits, three runs, one RBI and one walk. Friedl added four hits and two runs. Bridgman (2-5), Greager (2-4) and Pearce (2-4) also led Nevada at the plate.
Nevada opens Mountain West play this weekend, returning to action with a three-game series at Air Force. First pitch times between the Wolf Pack (3-5) and Falcons (5-2) are set for 1 p.m. PT on Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday at Falcon Field.