RENO - Ben Mummy picked a great time for the first walk-off homer of his career at Nevada.
Mummy launched the second pitch he saw from Fresno State reliever Rudy Quinonez in the bottom of the ninth over the right-centerfield fence to snap a 5-all tie and give the Wolf Pack a thrilling 6-5 win Friday afternoon at Peccole Park.
The homer was just what the struggling Pack, winners of just one of their last eight games and three of the last 13, needed. Fresno State lost for just the second time in its last 10 starts.
Mummy was the first player Quinonez faced. The right-hander had just come on in relief of lefty Brandon Miller, who had fanned Brett Hayes (3 for 5, 3 RBI) to start the inning. Mummy knew the ball was out as soon as he hit, raising his right arm in triumph halfway up the first-base line.
"This was a good team win," said Mummy, alluding to a career-high 6 1/3 innings by freshman starter Steve Taylor and a three-RBI day by Brett Hayes. "It was a fastball. I just tried to visualize his arm motion and make sure the ball was in the hitting zone.
We've been working so hard to reach our goal (NCAA playoffs). When you finally know the goal is out of reach, you have to look at things differently. The competitiveness is still there. The hard work is there. You just have to enjoy the time out there."
Mummy's dramatic blow brought an end to a fast-paced, well-played game.
"It was a very good college baseball game," Nevada coach Gary Powers said. "It's always better when you are on the right side of the ledger. You win games when you execute. We got timely hits today.
"(Steve) Taylor really stepped up today. We made his job harder. If we had played better defense, he probably wins the game. Wesley Dorsett in relief kept us in position to win the game."
Taylor got a no-decision despite striking out a career-high six in 6 1/3 innings. Dorsett, who evened his record at 2-2, pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out four and gave up just one hit, albeit it was the game-tying hit in the seventh.
"They (Nevada) pitched real well," Fresno State coach Mike Batesole said. "It was a heck of a college baseball game.
"If we play a little better; play catch a little better it might have been different. Give Nevada credit, when they needed a hit they got them."
Batesole was referring to the fourth inning when a throwing error by third baseman Beau Mills led to two unearned runs and a 4-1 lead for the Pack against Fresno State ace Matt Garza.
Eric Newman started the rally with a bouncer over the head of Mills and moved to second when Robert Marcial beat out a bunt. Dayton's Matt Bowman (2 for 5) forced Marcial at second, Newman advancing to third. Hayes followed with a groundball to Mills, who threw high to first. Hayes avoided the tag of first baseman Kent Sakamoto on the play, as Newman scored to make it 3-1. Mummy singled home Bowman for a 4-1 lead.
Nevada gave the run back in the sixth when Marcial made a one-out error on Nick Moresi's hard-hit ground ball. Mills walked and both runners scored on Steve Susdorf's double that one-hopped the wall in right-centerfield, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Nevada made it 5-3 in the sixth when Hayes, who had been mired in a 2 for 21 drought entering the game, hit a two-out single to score Derek McNeil, who had reached on a bunt single.
"I got a break finally," Hayes said. "I stayed with my approach and did what I had to do."
Fresno State tied the game in the seventh, knocking Taylor from the box after Todd Sandell doubled. Lefty Patrick Mason was rocked for back-to-back singles by Christian Vitters and Sakamoto. Dorsett came on to strike out Moresi for the second out. Mills singled on a 1-2 pitch, scoring Vitters to tie the game at 5. Dorsett stiffened, retiring the last seven batters to end the game.
Notes: Nevada played without senior centerfielder Jacob Butler, who was suspended for one game for throwing his helmet in a loss to Rice back on May 13. Butler was not ejected from the game however, because none of the umpires witnessed the incident. WAC commissioner Karl Benson said the report was turned in by Dan Peterson, the WAC's umpire supervisor ... The win was the 698th for Nevada coach Gary Powers, who is in his 23rd year at the helm ... The teams meet again today at 1 with Nevada's Ryan Rodriguez facing Doug Fister.