The Nevada Wolf Pack men’s baseball team went 1-2 in a three-game home opener against the Washington State Cougars. The Pack failed to score two or more runs in two of the games despite solid pitching from a culmination of the starters and the bullpen. Nevada is 7-3 on the season.
Nevada’s sloppy play on both sides of the field was quite evident in a 16-2 loss to the Cougars in their home opener. The Pack totaled four fielding errors, walked 10 batters and tallied just six hits which translated to seven scoreless innings.
Kaleb Foster finished 1-2 with a double. Weston Hatten and Daniel Perry recorded the only RBIS in the Wolf Pack’s favor. Washington State had three four-run innings and smashed three homers with the wind carrying to deep left field. The Cougars took advantage of several Nevada mistakes and were up at least five runs through the third inning.
Nevada lefty Dalton Gomez got the loss. Gomez gave up two earned runs on six hits in just three innings pitched. Four other bullpen arms were put into the game.
Washington State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning off a Kyle Manzorado groundout advanced Dillon Plew home. Nevada responded in the bottom half with a Daniel Perry RBI single.
Gomez fell into more trouble the very next frame, as the Cougars pasted a three-hit inning capped-off by a The Cougars struck once again with a Jared Thurber solo shot to deep left-center field.
The Cougars plated four more runs due to a multitude of fielding errors that came back to bite the Pack. Nevada’s first fielding error put runners on the corners. Rob Teele’s softly hit grounder down the third base line slipped past Zamora’s glove and scored Manzardo and put runners in scoring position. Washington State capitalized with a two-RBI single from Thurber and led 6-1 after three.
Nevada cut its deficit to four with Hatten’s homer to center field. Zamora was picked off at second base in the fifth and stalled Nevada’s momentum for a potential comeback. Dillan Shrum grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and kept the Cougars’ four-run lead sealed.
Jordan Jackson walked the bases loaded, Manzardo was hit by a pitch that drove in Washington State’s seventh run of the contest. Garrett Gouldsmith and Manzardo launched back-to-back home runs with the wind carrying to deep left field. After seven frames, the Cougars laced 12 hits and held a commanding 14-2 lead.
Carson High School native Bryce Moyle pitched the ninth inning to seal the victory for Washington State.
Behind a solid six innings from southpaw Ryan Anderson and a three homers, the Wolf Pack battled back to tie the series with an 8-1 victory over Washington State. Anderson held the Cougars scoreless and allowed the Pack to find its offensive flow in the later frames of the contest.
Ryan Anderson (3-0) tossed six innings, allowing one earned run on and two strikeouts. He escaped a bases loaded jam with just one run and threw up zeros for the rest of the outing, pounding the zone with a steady dose of waist-high fastballs and sliders low and away.
The Wolf Pack laced 10 hits and four extra-base hits, one of which came off the bat of third baseman Joshua Zamora, who cracked his first-career grand slam over the left-center field wall. Otis Statum launched his first-career homer and was baraged by teammates in the dugout. Dillan Shrum smacked another two at-bats later to the opposite field.
Washington State jumped out to a 1-0 lead after a fielder’s choice allowed Dillon Plew to score with the bases loaded. Anderson blanked the Cougars through the next five frames, and the Pack capitalized in a big way.
Wyatt Tilley blasted a two-run double over the head of right fielder Brody Barnum to put the Pack up 2-1. Statum’s solo shot to over the batter’s eye in deep center field tacked on another run in Nevada’s favor. Shrum answered with his opposite field homer over the right field wall to cap-off another two-run seventh inning.
Nevada put the game away in the eighth with a four-run inning off one swing of the bat from Zamora. Relievers Shane Gustafson and Bradley Bonnenfant kept the Cougars’ potent offensive attack for the final three frames.
A lack of offensive performance cost the Wolf Pack the series, ending in a 3-1 loss to Washington State to close out the three-game home stand.
Nevada’s nine hits mustered only one run and left five runners in scoring position. Dillan Shrum, Weston Hatten and Nick Seamons all recorded doubles on the day.
Freshman Owen Sharts (2-1) toed the rubber for the Wolf Pack. Sharts battled through a rough fourth inning but blanked the Cougars’ offense the rest of the way with a steady 90 mph fastball and a deceptive changeup that tied up batters at the hands. The right-hander went six innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits and one walk with four punchouts.
Washington State starter Hayden Rosenkrantz picked up the win, blanking the Wolf Pack through five innings with five strikeouts.
Sharts and Rosenkrantz kept the offense at a minimum through the first four frames. The Cougars took a 2-0 lead with a pair of RBIs from catcher Rob Teel and Danny Sinatro. The Wolf Pack couldn’t come away with a single run with runners on second and third in the fourth inning.
The Cougars added its last run of the contest with a fielding error from Zamora that advanced Sinatro to home plate, making the score 3-0. Nevada responded in the next half inning off Zamora’s blooper to left that tipped off the glove of Collin Montez for its only run of the contest.
A leadoff double by Seamons was washed away in the final inning, as he was caught in a pickle and was tagged out heading back towards second base.
Nevada’s lack of offense ultimately cost them the series, including a solid outing from Owen Sharts. Several mental errors were simply uncharacteristic and credit Washington State for capitalizing by putting runs on the board in a hurry. The Pack must develop some consistency on both sides of the field before heading into conference play.
Nevada hits the road for a brief one-game matchup against Grand Canyon University. The Antelopes are 4-5 so far this season.