Rasner struggles in shortened game

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RENO -- Even though he could have used the cold, windy and snowy weather as an excuse for his first off outing of the season, one look at Darrell Rasner suggested otherwise.

The Carson High graduate took the mound in just his short sleeve jersey, with nothing underneath, despite the miserable conditions.

The junior right-handed pitcher didn't pitch that badly for the University of Nevada baseball team against No. 16 Cal State Fullerton on Friday at Peccole Park. But his performance wasn't up to his own standards or the standard he had set so far this season.

Rasner may also be taken off the hook. Friday's game was suspended and was scheduled to be finished today as part of a doubleheader, beginning at noon. But if the games aren't played today, the statistics from Friday's game won't count. With the ominous weather report, that's a distinct possibility.

Rasner (3-2) would benefit from that happening because he was charged with six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings while striking out five. If the game is finished, Rasner's earned run average would be 2.27 and his school career strikeout record would rise to 245.

But if the game isn't finished, Rasner's E.R.A. would stay at 1.26 and his career strikeout total would stay at 240.

Rasner was also hurt by a misplayed line drive by left fielder Mike Hass that should have ended the third inning. The play went for a triple and led to four earned runs for the Titans.

"Not very good," said Rasner about his performance. "For the most part, it was average.

"I don't want to blame it on the weather or anything. It was tough for me to get loose and be consistent. But it was tough for everybody."

Rasner allowed a leadoff triple to Justin Smyres and a single to Jason Corapci that gave Fullerton a 1-0 lead. Shortstop Matt Maguire then booted a sure double play ball, giving the Titans runners at first and second with no outs, but Rasner pitched out of the jam without any more damage.

In the third, Hass' misplayed line drive went as a two-run triple for Chris Klosterman. Rasner went on to hit a batter and give up two RBI singles as Fullerton took a 5-0 lead.

Nevada fought back in the bottom of the third when Craig Markel and Bub Madrid led off with back-to-back singles. The Wolf Pack went on to score three runs on a throwing error, Matt Maguire's sacrifice fly and a wild pitch.

The game was suspended for about 10 minutes before the fourth when a snow flurry hit.

"I usually don't pitch in sleeves," said Rasner about not wearing anything underneath his jersey. "It wasn't that bad until it snowed. When we had the break it was tough going back out there."

Nevada cut the deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth when Tony Cappuccilli doubled and Galena High's Jeff Tolotti and Mike Gillies singled.

Rasner received defensive help in the top of the fifth when Tolotti reached over the right center field wall to rob Nick Fitzgerald of a home run. But Rasner was chased by Chris Stringfellow's RBI double and the game was called when a heavier snow flurry hit before the inning was finished.

Rasner was also hurt by his inability to finish off batters after he was ahead in the count. Smyers triple came after he was behind in the count 1-2 and Klosterman's triple came after he fell behind 0-2.

"They're very good contact hitters," Rasner said. "It's tough to get strikeouts on these guys. That's their objective to put the ball in play and make us play defense."


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