Wolf Pack, Scurry dam Beavers
By Charles Whisnand
Appeal Sports Editor
RENO - If University of Nevada pitcher Rod Scurry wasn't your typical superstitious baseball player, that has likely changed.
Scurry turned in a brilliant effort on the mound, allowing just one hit while pitching seven shutout innings for the Wolf Pack in an uplifting 10-1 win over two-time defending College World Series champion Oregon State on Friday at Peccole Park.
It was Scurry's second straight outstanding outing. And it was also the second straight time that Scurry pitched well after meeting the night before with fellow battery mate Travis Simas at Chili's. And just like the last time, Scurry order fajitas before pitching his gem on Friday.
Scurry, though, was the victim of another baseball superstition when he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. A fan could be heard in the stands talking about Scurry pitching a no-hitter - something that's never supposed to be done - and Scurry promptly gave up a leadoff single to Jason Ogata.
"I think somebody in the stands said something and then they get a hit," said Shaun Kort, who backed up Scurry's effort with three hits and four RBI. "I heard that too," said Scurry on the fan talking about the no-hitter.
Jason Rodriguez went 3-for-3 with two home runs and scored four runs, combining with Dayton High School graduate Matt Bowman, who scored three runs, to score Nevada's first seven runs.
Scurry was pulled after seven innings after throwing 118 pitches. He struck out just two, but kept the Beavers off balance throughout.
"I think they were going to take me out either way," said Scurry, commenting on his belief that he still would have been pulled out of the game even if he had a no-hitter going. Judging by Scurry's demeanor after the game, if he still had the no-hitter, he would have likely lobbied to stay in the game.
"He threw the ball like we expected him to throw and like he's capable of throwing," Nevada coach Gary Powers said.
Scurry said he wanted to establish his fastball early, so he went with all fastballs in the first inning and all fastballs except for two changeups in the second. "Just locating the fastball was the key thing," Scurry said.
Nevada took a 2-0 lead in the first. After Bowman reached on an error and Rodriguez walked, Kort followed with a two-run double. Rodriguez hit his first homer in the third to make it 3-0.
Bowman was hit by a pitch and Rodriguez hit his second homer, a two-run shot to make it 5-0 in the fifth.
Nevada took a 9-0 lead in the seventh. After Bowman singled, Rodriguez, Kort, Terry Walsh, Mike Hale and Simas all hit RBI singles. That's when Nevada chased starting pitcher Mike Stutes.
Powers said he liked his team's approach against Stutes and the fact that Bowman and Rodriguez scored seven runs.
"That means they were doing their job, getting on base," Powers said. "It's nice to have that. I think we did a nice job against a real good pitcher."
Rodriguez stroked his third hit in the eighth, a double, and scored on Kort's RBI groundout to make it 10-0.
"I've seen them play on TV," Rodriguez said of the Beavers. "It's good to actually see what they've got instead of seeing them on TV."
Mario Rivera pitched a scoreless eighth while Sammy Miller was touched for a run in the ninth. Miller allowed Daniel Robertson's single and an RBI double by Ryan Ortiz.
Notes: David Ciarlo had his 12-game hitting streak snapped... Evidently Oregon State needed James Nygren just as much as Western Nevada College. Nygren signed with the Beavers after pitching for WNC in the fall. It was expected that Nygren would pitch for the Wildcats this season, but he transferred mid-year so he could throw for the Beavers. In five appearances for Oregon State, Nygren hasn't allowed an earned run over 4 1/3 innings.