The Nevada baseball team was held to its lowest run total in two months, suffering a 7-1 loss to rivals UNLV in the series opener on Thursday evening at Peccole Park.
Losing seven starters and three All-Americans from last year’s team, Nevada was voted sixth in the 2016 Preseason Mountain West Coaches’ Poll. The Wolf Pack shocked the league and improved as the season went on, taking its title fight into the last week of the season. Tonight’s loss eliminates Nevada from MW co-championship contention.
Nevada’s three-game win streak on the season and seven-game win streak against the Rebels was snapped, while the Pack falls to 31-22 overall and 18-10 in MW play. The Pack scored one run on six hits, matching its lowest runs scored since March 15.
The Rebels struck first with an unearned run in the second inning as a passed ball led to Justin Jones scoring on A.J. VanMeetren’s RBI single to left field. UNLV took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning after working a bases-loaded hit by pitch before junior Miles Mastrobuoni made a stellar defensive play to end the threat for Nevada.
Sophomore TJ Friedl hit a leadoff triple and Nevada’s offense finally produced in the fourth inning. After advancing on a sacrifice bunt and a fly out, Friedl scored from third on junior Trenton Brooks’ RBI double down the right field line.
The Rebels responded with two runs in the fifth inning on Cooper Esmay’s two-RBI single and added one in the sixth on Payton Squier’s RBI single to take a 5-1 lead. UNLV made it 7-1 with two more runs in the seventh inning as VanMeetren hit a two-RBI single.
Friedl went 2-of-4 with Nevada’s lone run to lead the offense. Brooks added one hit and one RBI. Senior LHP Christian Stolo took the loss, allowing five runs and 10 hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Senior RHP Alex Lott allowed two runs in one inning of relief. Junior Ty Pennington pitched well for Nevada with 2.2 shutout innings without allowing a single hit.
The Wolf Pack and Rebels will return to the diamond Friday evening at Peccole Park. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. PT.