Santa Clara holds Wolf Pack scoreless in win
Junior pitcher Michael Fain provided his longest outing of the season but Santa Clara quieted a typically potent Nevada offense on Monday at Stephen Schott Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
The Broncos downed the No. 26 Wolf Pack, 3-0, as Nevada was shutout for the second time this season.
Fain pitched into the eighth inning in one of his best performances of the season to do his part on the mound. Santa Clara (14-13) limited Nevada — who entered the game ranked 16th out of 295 Division I teams in scoring offense (7.4 runs per game) — to just four hits to spoil Fain’s performance.
The Wolf Pack falls to 23-6 overall while closing a four-game road swing in California with a 2-2 record. Nevada returns to the diamond Thursday through Saturday against rival UNLV at Peccole Pack in Reno.
Fain – a 6-foot-6 hurler from Clovis, Calif. – pitched five-plus innings for his third consecutive start. The righty threw 7.1 innings while allowing three runs on eight hits and struck out a season-high five compared to just one walk. It was Fain’s longest outing since his complete game against Air Force in a 5-1 victory on March 21, 2014.
The Broncos did all their damage in the third inning, the lone scoring frame of the game, with three runs on four hits. Sophomore Stevie Berman hit a two-run home run over the left field fence before junior Kyle Cortopassi hit an RBI single for Santa Clara.
Senior Jordan Devencenzi tallied Nevada’s first hit of the game in the top of the third while senior Kyle Hunt doubled to right center in the fourth. The Wolf Pack stranded two runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings and finished with eight left on base.
Devencenzi, Hunt, junior Bryce Greager and senior Kewby Meyer led the Wolf Pack with one hit a piece, but Nevada’s top four batters in the lineup were held without a hit. Junior Alex Lott relieved Fain in the eighth inning and got the final two outs.
Pack takes series from SJSU
Sophomore Trenton Brooks went 3-of-5 with two RBI while pitching 2.1 innings in relief, leading No. 26 Nevada to a 4-2 victory over San José State on Sunday at Municipal Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
After dropping game one in a nail-biter, the Wolf Pack responded with blowout 21-run win (22-1) on Saturday and Sunday’s 4-2 series clinching victory. Nevada improves to 23-5 overall and 9-3 in Mountain West competition. The Wolf Pack has now won all seven of its three-game series this season.
“To win a Mountain West series on the road, no matter where you are at, is an accomplishment,” said head coach Jay Johnson. “We made a point of emphasis this season to play better on the road, and we did that this weekend and recovered from Friday’s hiccup.”
Nevada scored the game’s first four runs to open a lead the proved too much for the Spartans to overcome. After being held scoreless through two, senior Austin Byler opened the scoring in the top of the third with an RBI double down the line. Brooks followed with a single to center, scoring Byler to make it 2-0 through three frames.
The Wolf Pack plated two more runs in the fifth inning, taking a 4-0 lead that proved to be decisive. Byler drew a lead-off walk and junior Ryan Howell followed with a single to left field. Brooks tallied his 31st RBI of the season with a single to left field. Senior Kewby Meyer drove in Nevada’s final run, scoring Howell from third with a sac fly.
Junior Cameron Rowland made his fourth start of the season, improving to 3-2 on the mound. The 6-foot-3 lefty pitched into the sixth inning while allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts. Rowland has a 3.41 ERA in his first season with the Wolf Pack. Brooks, a 2014 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, allowed one run in 2.1 innings in relief.
Junior righty Adam Whitt earned the final out of the eighth inning before retiring the side in order in the ninth, earning his 11th save. The Carson City native entered the weekend tied for first in Division I in saves. Whitt is two saves away from matching Matt Gardner’s (2012) program record for saves in a season.
The Spartans scored one run in the sixth and one in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough to overturn Nevada’s lead. The Wolf Pack stranded 10 Spartans on base and pitched out of three bases-loaded jams.
The Wolf Pack scored four runs on 11 hits with no errors. Brooks led Nevada with a three-hit performance, while Greager (2-3), Howell (2-5) and Byler (2-2) each finished with two hits.