RENO -- The University of Nevada baseball team has now earned the reputation of a club that struggling opponents can get well against.
Sacramento State got well for the second time this year against the Wolf Pack, beating Nevada 8-7 on Tuesday at Peccole Park. The Hornets came into the game at 15-27 with an eight-game losing streak and had lost 18 of their last 20. Sacramento State has also gone 0-15 in the Big West Conference this season.
But the Hornets are 2-0 against Nevada (18-25) as they also beat the Wolf Pack 6-5 earlier in the year in Sacramento.
It was a frustrating loss for Nevada, which left seven runners while scoring just two runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Wolf Pack stranded 10 runners overall.
Nevada loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, but scored just one run on a walk.
"We got one run on a walk," Nevada coach Gary Powers said. "Three straight innings we had opportunities and left seven men on base and got two runs out of the whole mess.
"It was disappointing. How many times has that happened. Over and over and over again."
What's more frustrating is that Nevada's seniors are not coming through.
"I know they expect more of themselves," said Powers about Nevada's more experienced players.
It's young players like Jacob Butler, a freshman, who are showing the most fight.
Butler battled back from an 0-2 count to drive in Nevada's last run that brought the Wolf Pack to within 8-7.
"We do have young guys that really doing a great job," Powers said.
It was also a frustrating day for Powers, who was ejected for arguing a strike call that cost his team a run.
"I don't even want to talk about that," Powers said. "It was ridiculous."
Ryan Leake and George Moran combined to strike out 12 batters, but also gave up four home runs for Nevada.
Moran, though, had an encouraging effort as the one run he gave up through 3 2/3 innings came on a home run. Moran also struck out six. "George did a nice job," Powers said.
Bryan Johnson pitched a perfect ninth, striking out one.
Mike Gillies belted an RBI double and Tony Cappuccilli had an RBI single to give Nevada a 2-1 lead in the second. But in the third, Bret LeVier doubled and Chris Kinsey hit his 15th home run of the year, a two-run shot for Sacramento State. Casey Fuller followed with a homer to give the Hornets a 4-2 lead.
Chris Dickerson, returning from a knee injury, hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 4-3. Dickerson hit 11 homers last season. Dickerson saw limited action on Tuesday and Powers said that will continue.
"We wanted to gradually work him in," Powers said. "He's chomping at the bit to get out there."
In the fourth, JaRell McIntyre's RBI single tied the score 4-4 and Cappuccilli scored on a throwing error on Galena High graduate's Jeff Tolotti's RBI single to give Nevada a 5-4 lead.
Tolotti appeared to have stolen second and McIntyre looked to score on the throwing error that would have made it 6-4. But Taylor Pullins was called out on strikes to end the inning.
As Powers walked by the home plate umpire, he argued the call briefly, but that was enough for him to be tossed.
Leake allowed a double in the fifth before striking out Kinsey for his sixth strikeout. But he allowed Fuller's RBI single and Ryan Brown's two-run shot that gave Sacramento State a 7-5 lead.
In the sixth, Nevada had runners at first and third with one out, but failed to score.
Tim Reimer's homer gave the Hornets an 8-5 lead in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Nevada loaded the bases with no outs, but scored only once when Cappuccilli was walked.
Cappuccilli had three hits and Pullins, McIntyre and Butler all added two hits for the Wolf Pack.
Wolf Pack Notes: Carson High graduate Darrell Rasner will not make the trip this weekend when Nevada travels to Louisiana Tech for a three-game series. Rasner hopes to return the following weekend against Fresno State.
Rasner was hit by a line drive against San Jose State on Friday. Rasner said he still has a considerable bruise and that there's still a great deal of swelling.
He was walking without crutches with a limp on Tuesday. "It's coming around," he said. "It's getting better every day."
"I think it's going to be ready to go," said Rasner about Fresno State. "I think I'll be ready by next week.
This week, the doctors aren't going to let me do it. I don't think I'm ready, yet now. I'm just going to stay here and rehab."