Hass belts two homers in Nevada’s 14-10 win over Hawai’i
RENO — Nevada’s Mike Hass is on a roll and he doesn’t want it to end anytime soon. But he doesn’t have much choice. The Wolf Pack’s season ends in five games, although the next one is looking brighter and brighter.
On Tuesday against No. 7 Stanford, Hass went 3-for-3 and had the game-winning hit in the seventh inning, a two-run home run. On Saturday against Hawai’i, Hass went 3-for-6 with a pair of three-run homers and a season-high eight RBIs as the Wolf Pack beat the Rainbows 14-10 in front of 1,340 fans at Peccole Park.
“I’ve been in a zone the last couple of weeks,” said Hass, who’s gone 11-for-31 with 15 RBIs in the past seven games. “I don’t know what it is. I’ve just been seeing the ball really well.”
So have a lot of other Nevada players, mostly young ones. Freshman Taylor Pullins went 3-for-5 with four RBIs against the Cardinal. Against the Rainbow, he was 2-for-3.
In the past two games, next year’s returning players have hit a combined 13-for-29 and accounted for 17 of the team’s 27 runs. Freshman Bryan Johnson came in for sophomore Mateo Miramontes in the seventh inning and recorded his second-straight save. It was his fifth of the season.
“A while back we knew that we weren’t going to the postseason, so we’ve been looking towards next year,” said Hass, a sophomore. “And us young guys have been playing good ball and hopefully that will carry us to next year.”
Miramontes improved to 6-7 on the year after allowing 14 hits, 10 runs and striking out six. It was anything but spectacular.
“No, it was ugly,” said Miramontes, who has pitched first in the rotation since Darrell Rasner was hurt on April 26. “But they wouldn’t give me anything on the outside corner. But I felt pretty strong. I honestly like pitching first (in the rotation). You get the job done, then you can rest.”
Miramontes gave up seven runs in the fifth as Hawai’i (16-35 overall, 5-20 Western Athletic Conference) pulled to within one run, 9-8, off Derek Honma’s three-run homer. It was the first homer of the season for Honma, who’s hitting only .269.
“I thought he pitched pretty good, other than that one inning,” Powers said of Miramontes. “But it’s tough to pitch on a day like this. In this wind, anything can happen. He just did what he needed to do to keep us in it.”
The Wolf Pack (23-29, 8-17) answered right back, though. They scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth and finished its scoring after freshman Chris Gimenez’ solo homer in the seventh made it 14-10. Hawai’i used three pitchers. Its starter, Chris George, didn’t last long. He gave up nine earned runs, walked two batters and hit five more in 3 1/3 innings. George (6-5) has been the winning pitcher in all of the Rainbows’ five WAC wins.
“I’ve just glad we beat a good pitcher like Chris George,” Powers said. “He beat us over in Hawaii. So I’m just pleased we had a chance in this one.”
Nevada had plenty of chances, especially since Powers had Hass in the lineup.
“I got him hitting in the No. 5 spot because that’s an RBI spot,” Powers said. “That’s why I put him in that situation and he’s doing a good job in it.”
It was only the fourth time in WAC games the Wolf Pack have scored in double digits. They should’ve had their second 20-run game of the season if not for leaving 12 runners on base. They left the bases loaded three times.
“Normally, we have a lot of base runners but never score them,” Hass said. “But even leaving 12 guys on base, we still did good job of scoring them And 14 runs should win in any game.”
Nevada will honor its eight seniors in today’s 1 p.m. game.