Behind the pitching of junior Mark Nowaczewski and senior closer Evan McMahan along with the timely hitting throughout the lineup the University of Nevada (15-30) baseball team defeated sixth ranked Clemson (35-12) 7-5 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Wolf Pack improved to 15-30 on the season while Clemson fell to 35-12. The final game of the series is scheduled for 9 a.m. PT on Monday.
It was the Wolf Pack’s first victory over a top 10 team since winning at Texas Tech 8-4 on Feb. 17, 2015. Nevada’s win snapped the Tigers’ eight-game home win streak against nonconference opponents.
Nevada jumped to a 6-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth inning. Michael Echavia ledoff the second inning with his sixth home run of the season and it was 1-0. In the third inning nine Pack hitters went to the plate and four scored to push the advantage to five runs. Justin Bridgman, Jordan Pearce and Grant Fennell each had an RBI in the inning with the fourth run scoring on wild pitch. In the fourth, Nevada scored an unearned run after Keaton Smith singled and later scored on a wild pitch.
The Tigers scored twice in the bottom of the fourth on two hits but Pack catcher Kaleb Foster ended any further scoring threat throwing out the Clemson runner trying to steal second base. Nevada’s seventh run of the game came in the top of the sixth when Cole Krzmarzick singled and crossed the plate on Bridgman’s double.
Nowaczweski kept the Clemson hitters off balance most of the game until the eighth when they scored three runs to close the game to 7-5. McMahan came out the bullpen to record the final two outs of the eighth inning with the tying runners at second and third base.
CU would not go away as they attempted to rally in the bottom of the ninth. After McMahan retired the first two hitters of the inning he put the tying runs on base with a pair of walks. He retired the final Tiger hitter on ground ball hit to Fennell at first base and he covered the bag for the putout to clinch the upset.
Nowaczewski (4-5) earned his fourth win off the season and 10th of his Wolf Pack career. He allowed five runs on nine hits in 7.1 innings on the mound. McMahan (5) pitched a scoreless 1.2 innings to earn his fifth save of the season and 14th of his career which ranks fifth in school history. His 86 career appearances is second to Rico Lagattuta’s 90.
Clemson starter Alex Eubanks (6-4) allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings of action and suffered the loss.
Echavia (4-for-5,R,RBI) finished the day with a game-high four hits that ties his season high and drove in one with his team leading sixth homer of the season. Krzmarzick (3-for-3,2R) was perfect on the day, with three hits in three at bats and scored twice. Bridgman (2-for-5,R,2RBI), Fennell (2-for-5,R,RBI) and Smith (2-for-4,2R) each had two hits as the team totaled 14. Bridgman’s team season-high hit streak was extended to 12 games.
Chase Pinder (2-for-4,2R,RBI) and Logan Davidson (2-for-2) had two hits apiece for the Tigers. Drew Wharton drove in two of the Clemson runs.