Nevada won't play a more important three-game series than the one this weekend against Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.
After dropping two-of-three games to Fresno State last week in Reno, the Wolf Pack might be forced to win all three games this week to get into the postseason for the first time in three years.
Nevada ace Mateo Miramontes (9-4, 4.61 ERA) will get the start in tonight's game at 6 p.m. against the Bulldogs' Jon Lockwood (3-3, 3.93 ERA). As a staff, Louisiana Tech ranks at the bottom of the Western Athletic Conference with a 6.06 team ERA. However, Miramontes has lost his last two outings after starting the season 9-2.
The Wolf Pack (30-22, 18-8) will send J.T. Sherman, who was the only starter to beat Fresno State last weekend, to the mound in Saturday's game. Eddie Bonine will get the start in Sunday's series finale.
The Bulldogs didn't play last week and bring a 17-32-1 overall record into this weekend's game. They are in last place in the WAC at 9-18. Nevada has already locked up second place in the WAC, but might need three wins to ensure an NCAA Regional bid. It last qualified for the postseason in 2000 and had three other NCAA bids in the 90s.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, a senior transfer from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, is the Wolf Pack's biggest offensive threat. He is hitting .368 with a WAC-leading 16 homers and could be in the running for WAC Player of the Year honors. Jacob Butler, who leads the team in hitting with a .378 average, also leads the WAC in batting average. Freshman catcher Brett Hayes ranks second in the WAC with a .373 average.
The Bulldogs are hitting .259 as at team and are led by Wade Robinson, who ranks 10th in the conference with a .337 average. Robinson is also third on the team with 25 RBI. Kyle Humphreys leads the team with 32 RBI and eight home runs. Center fielder John Brandon is second on the team in home runs (7) and RBI (27).
Nevada leads the overall series 7-2 and swept its three-game series with the Bulldogs at Peccole Park in April. The Wolf Pack won two-of-three games last year in Ruston.