By Ryan Suppe
Last weekend, Nevada won its fourth straight series and improved to 15-14 (6-5 MW) on the season. The Wolf Pack travelled to San Marcos, Texas for a three-game series against Texas State (21-12). Nevada won the first two games by scores of 6-3 and 17-6, but it dropped the final game of the series 3-2.
Senior Christian Stolo started his eighth game of the season on Friday and recorded his second win. He allowed three earned runs off 10 hits in seven and ⅔ innings.
Stolo retired the first three hitters of the game, but then he gave up a solo home run to the first batter in the bottom of the second inning followed by six more hits and two more runs as the Bobcats sent all nine hitters to the plate.
Despite giving up three runs and seven hits in one inning, Nevada head coach T.J. Bruce stuck with his veteran pitcher and left him in the game. Stolo went on to throw five and ⅔ scoreless innings, including a stretch of 15 straight outs.
“If you base it on results, then I probably should’ve taken him out, but it’s not about results, it’s about the process of what we’re doing,” Bruce told Don Marchand on the Bud Light pregame show on Saturday, April 9. “He showed maturity and he showed presence and that’s why we left him in.”
The Wolf Pack trailed 3-0 heading into the top of the seventh when it had a big inning of its own thanks to some small ball. Junior Miles Mastrobuoni reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning, then sophomore Cole Krzmarzick doubled to left. Sophomore T.J. Friedl and senior Justin Hazard both reached on sacrifice bunts, scoring Mastrobuoni and Krzmarzick. Then, Friedl and Hazard executed a successful double steal, moving into scoring position. A groundout and a sacrifice fly scored two more runs and gave the Wolf Pack a 4-3 lead.
Nevada would add two more runs in the top of the ninth, and junior Evan McMahan completed a four-out save with a scoreless bottom of the ninth, sealing the 6-3 victory for Nevada.
In game two, Nevada scored 17 runs on 18 hits, season-highs in both categories. Krzmarzick had four hits in the game, and Friedl and Hazard each drove in five runs.
Junior Trevor Charpie started on the mound for Nevada. He threw for seven innings, giving up just two runs on three hits, and he struck out eight.
Charpie improves to 3-1 on the season, and he has the team’s best ERA at 3.10.
On Sunday, junior Trenton Brooks pitched six shutout innings and drove in Nevada’s only two runs of the game, but the Bobcats won the game 3-2 and avoided the series sweep.
The game was scoreless in the bottom of the seventh with both starting pitchers still in the game when Texas State put together a three-run, five hit inning. The Bobcats chased Brooks off the mound but not out of the game.
Brooks moved to the designated hitter position after coming off the mound, and in the top of the eighth he broke up the opposing pitcher’s shutout with a two-run home run.
After the home run, Nevada stranded two runners in scoring position, and the Wolf Pack would go on to lose 3-2.
Ryan Suppe can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @salsuppe.