Nevada continues to improve on its best season of all time. This year the Wolf Pack is 23-6 and is in second place in the Mountain West Conference. Up next for the Wolf Pack will be bitter rival UNLV, who comes to town on Thursday. For the Wolf Pack, it will be the second time this season that it faces the Rebels, having taken two of three games from the team down south back in March in its first series.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Over the past couple of years Nevada has been exceptional at home. Last season the Wolf Pack went 18-6 at Peccole Park. This season the Pack is even better, sitting at 14-1 and winning its last seven in the Biggest Little City.
This home series may be the biggest for Nevada as it hosts its bitter rival with state supremacy on the line. There are a lot of factors that go into winning a game; outstanding pitching, the ability to generate runs and playing error free being just a few examples.
However, something that is often overlooked is fan support, which will be vital for the Wolf Pack in this series. The fans need to show up to make this a hostile environment for the Rebels to play in. If the Rebels don’t feel pressure from the fans then the mood will be more relaxed which is not something you want the visitors to feel.
NEVADA GOING ON HITTING SPREE
Everyone knows about the production that Austin Byler and Ryan Howell bring. The duo has combined to hit 16 home runs, knock in 65 RBI and score 62 runs. While those numbers are impressive, Nevada has more offensive threats
than just those two. Nevada currently has five players hitting .300 or higher. That list includes Trenton Brooks who is hitting .330, Bryce Greager whose batting average is sitting at .329 and freshman Cal Stevenson who is second on the squad with an outstanding .389 batting average.
The reason that those statistics matter is because when the Wolf Pack is unable to generate runs it loses games most of the time. When Nevada took on UNLV in its first series it dropped a game to the Rebels when the team was only able to generate four hits on the way to be shut out for the only time this season.
The Wolf Pack’s pitching is not the team’s biggest asset and struggles when Nevada is unable to put runs on the board, so it will be important for the Wolf Pack to come out early and start swinging because if Nevada can put up 4 or 5 runs in each game it’s should be able to score three huge victories over its in state rival.
Stone Harper can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @StoneHarperNVSB.