Pack tops Air Force 6-1 in Mountain West baseball

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Kewby Meyer was mad at himself Friday night.

“I did terrible,” said Meyer of his 0-for-2 performance on Friday afternoon against the Air Force Falcons. “I really wanted to make up for it.”

The Nevada sophomore first baseman more than made up for it on Saturday with three hits and a pair of RBI in the Wolf Pack’s 6-1 victory over the Air Force Falcons at Peccole Park.

“On Friday I was guessing at pitches,” said Meyer, who did have a sacrifice fly in the first inning in the Pack’s 3-2 victory on Friday. “(On Saturday) I didn’t guess.”

He just hit.

Meyer, who doubled in the first inning, drilled an important two-run, two-out double in the third inning to give the Wolf Pack a 2-1 lead. He also walked and scored in the fifth inning and singled in the sixth.

All three of the left-handed hitting Meyer’s hits came off left-handed starter Ben Bertelson.

“I do a lot of training against left-handers,” said Meyer, who is hitting .381 this season with six doubles, two homers and 13 RBI. “I do a lot of hitting off left-hander’s curveballs in the cage. You just have to sit back and be patient.”

The Wolf Pack offense showed a lot of patience on Saturday, waiting until there were two outs before scoring all six of their runs. Kyle Hunt singled with two outs to drive home Ryan Teel in the third inning for a 3-1 lead. Hugo Hernandez doubled home Meyer and Brooks Klein singled in Hernandez with a pair of two-out runs in the fifth for a 5-1 lead.

The final Pack run of the game came with two outs in the seventh as Tommy Niebergall scampered home from third as Brett Gerig wisely got in a run-down between first and second after attempting a steal.

“Those two-out runs are huge,” said Wolf Pack coach Gary Powers, whose team is now 12-6 overall and 2-0 in the mountain West, “We managed to scratch out enough runs with two outs to get this victory. That’s how you win games like these.”

You also win games like Saturday’s game with solid pitching.

Tyler Wells was very efficient against the Falcons, tossing 7.1 innings and allowing just six hits, two walks and a run while striking out five.

“He kept his walks down which is big for him,” Powers said. “They (Air Force) are very aggressive at the plate and Tyler did a nice job of keeping them off balance. Our starting pitchers have done a great job these first two games of this series.

“Bradey Shipley allowed just four hits, a walk and a run in eight inning in picking up his third victory of the season without a defeat on Friday. Wells improved to 4-0 with his performance on Saturday.

I definitely had to struggle a little bit,” Wells said. “I really didn’t feel good at all until the fourth or fifth inning.”

You couldn’t tell that by watching him mow down the Air Force hitters. The only run the Falcons got was in the first on a walk and a single. After that the sophomore left-hander was brilliant and even pitched out of a bases loaded, one-out situation in the fourth.

Gerig also made the play of the day in the fifth, crashing into the fence in left field after robbing Alex Bast of an extra base hit.

“That was one of the best plays I’ve ever seen,” said Wells of Gerig’s tumbling catch. “That was a huge play.”

Wells now has a 2.79 earned run average after five starts. Most of the damage he’s suffered this year, though, took place in one start against Holy Cross (seven hits, six runs allowed in 3.1 innings). In his other four starts he has an eye-opening 1.05 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 25.2 innings.

Wells tossed 63 of his 101 pitches for strikes against Air Force.

“I tried to work with the wind a little, throwing my stuff on the outside corner,” Wells said.

The Wolf Pack will go for the three-game sweep of its first Mountain West series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

“We struggled a little bit earlier in the year,” Meyer said. “But I really think we’re coming together now. We’re getting great pitching, our defense is doing well now and we’re getting key hits when we need them.”

“Last weekend I don’t think we were focused,” said Powers of two losses in three games at Utah Valley. “Maybe we were thinking ahead to this series. I don’t know. But we’ve played two real good games this weekend. We’re not beating ourselves.”


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