RENO - A huge key to Nevada's three-game sweep of arch-rival UNLV over the weekend was the work of the Wolf Pack bullpen, which recorded two wins and a save.
The quintet of Kody Keroher, Jarad Mitchell, Matt Renfree, Jordan Salazar and Mario Rivera pitched 9 1/3 innings, allowing only five hits and three walks while fanning nine batters.
Renfree tossed 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief on Saturday to pick up his first win of the season.
Not to be outdone, Rivera went 2 2/3 innings and struck out four batters. He allowed just one hit.
Rivera has made four starts thus far, but some arm tenderness has forced him out of the rotation.
"It's a different mentality," Rivera said, explaining the difference between starting and relieving. "When you start a game, you can make a mistake early and get away with it. Relieving, you have to be on cue and ready to go. I prefer starting, but I'll do whatever helps the team the most."
Rivera struck out the side in the eighth, catching Keith Smith, Efren Navarro and Chad Miller looking at called third strikes. He allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but easily retired the next three hitters.
Nevada played solid defense throughout the series, making just two errors in three games, one by catcher Konrad Schmidt and one by pitcher Kyle Howe.
Schmidt, the senior transfer from the University of Arizona, now has a five-game hitting streak after a seventh-inning single. He went 6-for-9 in the series.
Second baseman David Ciarlo extended his hitting streak to three games by going 1-for-3 in each contest.
Two Pack players, freshman Shaun Kort and junior Terry Walsh, had their hit streaks snapped at five and six games, respectively.
TOUGH DAY FOR BOWMAN
Ex-Carson star Willie Bowman started and played third base for the Rebels, but it was a bittersweet day.
Bowman, who has been slumping at the plate, drilled a line drive for a hit in his first at-bat. He grounded into a double play in his next at-bat and then was retired easily on a dribbler in front of home plate. He was pinch-hit for in his last time at bat.
Bowman also committed a throwing error which led to a run.
Nevada pitcher Rod Scurry, who hurt his pitching hand when knocking a hard groundball back up the middle on Saturday, will have his hand X-rayed today.
"I think it's just a bone bruise," said Scurry, who left Saturday's game because he had no feelings in his fingers. "They are just being careful with it. Hopefully all is well."
•Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or 881-1281