Scoring early and often was the recipe for success Friday as the Wolf Pack baseball team beat Northern Illinois for the third time in three days. Despite being out hit 17 to 14, Nevada put up big numbers with runners in scoring position in a 13-9 win at Peccole Park.
For senior right fielder Shawn Scobee and freshman catcher Jordan Opdyke, just stepping into the batter's box meant being in scoring position. Both hit two long home runs on a day when balls were carrying well. Scobee's last shot in the eighth cleared the new light standards and traveled an estimated 450 feet.
"I got all of that one," Scobee said in the understatement of the day.
Nevada's offense got off to a quick start in the bottom of the first inning as lead-off hitter David Ciarlo drove a ball high off of the left field fence for a triple. Third baseman Matt Bowman of Dayton knocked Ciarlo in with an infield single, stole second and scored on a double by left fielder Matt Suleski.
The Huskies scored two runs to tie the game in the top of the second. Back to back singles and a sacrifice bunt gave Northern Illinois runners at second and third when catcher Justin Behm collected his first hit of the year, a single up the middle that scored both runners.
The tie was short-lived however, as Nevada powered its way to three runs in the bottom of the inning. Opdyke led off, lining a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left. Second baseman Leo Radkowski followed with a shot of his own to left, his second in two days. Durell Williams lined a double to the gap in left, stole third and scored on a long sacrifice fly by Ciarlo.
Nevada scored four more runs in the fourth with Opdyke again leading off the inning with a solo shot to left. Ciarlo walked after Radkowski and Williams flied out. Bowman scored Ciarlo with a ringing double to the gap in right before Scobee hit his sixth home run of the year, a towering fly to the parking lot beyond left field.
Three more runs came across in the sixth with Bowman picking up two RBI with a double and DH Baker Krukow getting an RBI single. Bowman ended the day 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI.
The Huskies wouldn't go quietly, scoring one run in the top of the fourth and fifth innings before rallying for four runs in the top of the seventh. Right-handed reliever Chris Scott, making just his third appearance of the year, gave up three runs on three hits before giving way to Ben Colton of Reno. Colton gave up a run on Nevada's only error of the game, a ground ball that got underneath shortstop Ciarlo's glove. After Colton walked the next batter, Owen Brolsma of Carson City came in and got a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Scobee hit his tape-measure shot in the eighth to end the scoring.
Nevada picked up 13 RBI on the day and stranded just four runners.
Nevada coach Gary Powers was glad to see his club getting offensive.
"There was a lot of offense in that game. Both teams were swinging the bats," he said. "I'm glad to see us finally swinging the bat as a team. Some of our guys are really getting some confidence up there."
Powers wasn't as thrilled with his pitching staff.
"Runs get scored when you walk guys. The defense gets back on their heels and things happen that you don't want to happen," Powers said.
The Wolf Pack (8-12) host the Huskies (5-10) at Peccole Park today at 1 p.m. for the fourth game of their five game series.