Leading by one run with two runners on base in the top of the ninth inning, Nevada turned a 5-3 double play to hold on to a 7-6 victory over New Mexico on Sunday at Peccole Park. The Wolf Pack (5-10, 1-4) claimed its first Mountain West victory of the season behind solid play in all facets of the game.
Junior LHP Trenton Brooks picked up his first win of the season, striking out six batters while allowing nine hits and two earned runs in five innings of work. Brooks also helped his cause with three RBI at the plate, while sophomore TJ Friedl added three hits and two runs.
Prior to first pitch, Nevada unveiled its 2015 Mountain West championship banner. The Wolf Pack went on to score seven runs on 11 hits to claim its first MW victory of the season and the first conference win of first-year head coach T.J. Bruce’s career.
“I’m really proud of how we bounced back today,” said Bruce. “I told the team this morning that commitment is being loyal to who we are and how we play, and they went out and showed commitment and character today. I thought we played well in all facets – we pitched, played good defense and were opportunistic offensively.”
The Lobos scored the game’s first run in the first inning, scoring their leadoff batter on Carl Stajduhar’s RBI double. The Wolf Pack stormed back in its half of the inning to takes its first lead of the series. Nevada loaded the bases with one out before Brooks grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring junior Justin Bridgman and Friedl on the play with stellar base running.
Nevada also loaded the bases before adding to its lead with two more runs in the third inning. Sophomore Grant Fennell hit a single to right field to score junior Miles Mastrobuoni before sophomore Jordan Pearce hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score senior Bryce Greager, making it 4-1 in favor of Nevada.
On two outs, Nevada rallied to load the bases in the fourth inning before Brooks and Fennell were both hit by pitch to expand the Pack’s lead to 6-1. Sophomore Jordan Pearce nearly cleared the bases with a hit to right field before UNM’s Andre Vigil made a diving catch to prevent additional runs from scoring.
The Lobos used a four-run fifth inning to trim Nevada’s lead to just one run after Stajduhar hit a three-run homer over the left field fence. Pearce hit a leadoff triple for Nevada in the seventh frame before scoring on sophomore Cole Krzmarzick’s RBI single, but UNM again pulled within one run on Chris DeVito’s solo homer in the eighth.
New Mexico put threatened with two runners on base in the ninth inning before junior RHP Evan McMahan produced a double play ball as Greager stepped on third and threw out Stajduhar at first for the final out.
The Lobos scored six runs on 14 hits. Senior RHP Sam Held pitched 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of held, while junior Ty Pennington allowed one run and three hits in two innings of work. McMahan earned Nevada’s first save of the season after entering in the ninth frame. Nevada’s pitching staff combined to strand 10 Lobos on base.
Nevada went 4-of-9 (.444) on two-out hitting and drove in six two-out RBI. Friedl led Nevada at the plate with three hits and two runs, securing his sixth multi-hit game of the season. Brooks set a season-high with three RBI. Pearce added two hits, one RBI and one run while Fennell also drove in a pair of runs.
Nevada returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to Moraga, Calif., to take on Saint Mary’s (8-6). First pitch between the Wolf Pack and Gaels is set for 3 p.m. PT at Louis Guisto Field. The game will be streamed live online via theW.com. Nevada leads the series history with Saint Mary’s, 60-58-1.
Nevada Press Release