Brolsma wins for the Pack

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Charles Whisnand

RENO - Maybe it wasn't as dramatic as "The Natural" or Kirk Gibson, but a sick Ben Mummy was able to come off the bench in the ninth inning to win it for the University of Nevada baseball team.

Nevada blew a four-run lead only to have Mummy come through with the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 win over San Jose State on Saturday at Peccole Park. Carson High graduate Owen Brolsma was the winning pitcher as the freshman picked up his first win of his college career.

Mummy had been out with the flu all week and needed IV fluids on Thursday. But he was well enough to come off the bench and come through for the Wolf Pack when they needed it the most.

Mummy, a right-handed hitter, came off the bench in the bottom of the ninth to pinch hit for Carson High graduate Joe Mercer, who started as a designated hitter and was batting cleanup. Although Mercer had been hot, he was 0-for-4 going into the at bat, and would have had to face the left-handed Brad Kilby.

"Mercer was real supportive," Mummy said. "He's a great guy, a great teammate. He's swinging the bat great. He's been picking us up all year. I figured it was somebody else's turn.

Mummy singled a Kilby changeup up the middle to score Brett Hayes with the winning run. "I felt better this morning," Mummy said. "It's fun when you're given the chance."

"He's been real sick," Nevada coach Gary Powers said. "He got enough strength to go out and drive one up the middle when we needed it."

Nevada took a 1-0 lead in the first when Hayes and Bub Madrid doubled. Nevada had runners at first and third in the second, but failed to score.

The Wolf Pack took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on Robert Marcial's RBI single. Hayes then reached on catcher's interference to load the bases with one out. But starting pitcher Matt Durkin struck out Madrid and got Mercer to pop out to end the inning.

Travis Sutton gave Nevada (13-12, 1-0 in the Western Athletic Conference) six shutout innings before hanging a 1-2 curveball to Joshua Lansford, who took it over the left field wall to cut the deficit to 2-1. Sutton then allowed an unearned run when Mark Bautista hit an RBI double to tie the score 2-2. Sutton allowed one earned run in 6.2 innings.

"Any time I keep the team in the game I'm happy with myself," Sutton said. "I was getting tired, I'll be the first one to admit it."

Powers took the blame for keeping Sutton in too long. "That was my fault," Powers said. "He was battling right to the end. It was a great outing."

The Wolf Pack looked like they were going to be the victim of bad luck in the bottom of the seventh. Hayes led off with a single and would have easily advanced to second on Madrid's sacrifice bunt.

But first baseman Brandon Fromm's throw hit Madrid in the back and he was ruled to be running in fair territory. Madrid was ruled out and by rule, Hayes had to return to first.

Jacob Butler followed with a single, though, and then Chris Gimenez belted a three-run home run over the left field wall. Erick Streelman followed with an RBI double to make it 6-2.

Gimenez was asked if he thought his homer had put the game away. He knew better. "You never can tell," he said. "We'll take it any way you can get it."

In the eighth Matt Renfree walked two batters then gave up a two-run double to Fromm. Travis Becktel and Anthony Contreras each followed with RBI doubles to tie the game 6-6.

"We made it that way," said Powers about Nevada's penchant for turning games into wild affairs as it has done all year.

"I'm disappointed in the fact that he walked two guys when we gave him a four-run lead," said Powers about Renfree.

Brolsma entered and got a popup on one pitch to end the inning. "That took a lot off, just to get that out on the first pitch," said Brolsma who has had a knack of retiring batters on one pitch this year.

Brolsma retired all four batters he faced, retiring the first two batters he faced on two pitches and and all four hitters on eighth pitches. For Brolsma it was redemption after blowing a lead in Tuesday's win over Pacific.

"It feels real great after blowing the lead in the last one in the eighth inning," Brolsma said.

On his last out, though, Brolsma admitted he was fortunate. He made a mistake on an 0-2 Contreras, who lined a shot down the third base line. But Madrid was there to make the catch to end the game.

"He always seems to be where the ball is, especially when I'm in there," Brolsma said. "I got lucky right there."

Contact Charles Whisnand at or 881-1214.


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