– Nevada took ninth-ranked UC Santa Barbara to the brink on Monday afternoon before falling short of its first victory over a ranked foe this season. The Wolf Pack (15-19) fell by a 5-4 margin to the Gauchos (25-7-1), who are ranked ninth by Baseball America, at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Playing on the road for the fourth time in as many days, Nevada led for six innings before surrendering its lead in the eighth. Head coach T.J. Bruce and the Pack were facing its first top 25 opponent of the year, while UCSB narrowly avoided the upset for its fourth straight win.
Junior LHP Anthony Martine made his first career start at Nevada, logging 5.0 solid innings while allowing three runs with three strikeouts. Junior RHP Evan McMahan pitched three innings in relief and allowed one earned run and three hits. Junior Justin Bridgman led Nevada at the plate, going 3-of-4 with two RBI and one run.
Nevada did all of its damage in the second inning, scoring four runs on two hits with one error. Sophomore Cole Krzmarzick doubled, sophomore Jordan Pearce walked and freshman Kaleb Foster was hit by pitch to load the bases. Bridgman then hit a two-RBI single to center field, opening the scoring for Nevada. A throwing error following another hit by pitch at allowed Bridgman and Foster to score, making it 4-0 in favor of the Pack.
The Gauchos – who have lost just once at home this season – trimmed Nevada’s lead to one, plating three runs on three hits in the third frame. The Pack maintained its slim lead until UCSB rallied in front in the eighth inning, scoring two runs on one hit and one error to take a 5-4 advantage.
Nevada out-hit UCSB by a 9-7 margin, marking just the second time this year Nevada has taken a loss despite out-hitting its opponent. Bridgman matched a season-high with three hits to go along with two RBI and one run. Krzmarzick went 2-of-4 with one run, while sophomore Grant Fennell also added two hits.
Nevada returns to actions this weekend at the friendly confines of Peccole Park, hosting a three-game series against Air Force in Mountain West play. The series will begin on Friday, as the two teams will conclude a suspended game from earlier this season at 5 p.m. PT. The first game in the ensuing series will then start 30 minutes after the conclusion of that contest. First pitch times are also set for 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Nevada Press Release