Mercer leads Nevada baseball in loss
Two solid pitching performances resulted in a 1-0 victory in 10 innings for the University of Hawai`i over the University of Nevada in the first game of a three-game Western Athletic Conference series at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu on Thursday night. With the win the Rainbows improved to 25-15 overall and 9-7 in conference play while the Wolf Pack dropped their third in a row leaving them at 23-21 and 8-8 in the WAC.
Carson High graduate Joe Mercer had two of Nevada’s four hits, going 2-for-4. He’s now hitting .340 (34-100) on the season. Douglas High graduate Austin Graham was used as a pinch hitter and went 0-for-1.
The Rainbows broke a tie for second place in the WAC with the win and are now one game in front of the Pack. The Rainbows also snapped an 11-game losing streak to Nevada with Thursday’s victory.
After Nevada starter Travis Sutton and Hawai`i starter Ricky Bauer pitched nine shutout innings apiece both teams went to the bullpen in the 10th inning. Sutton allowed four hits in his nine innings of work and Bauer just three.
Nevada threatened in the top of the 10th but left Mercer stranded at third base when the inning ended. In the bottom of the 10th, the Rainbows’ designated hitter Nathan Thurber got the inning started with a double to the right center field gap off Pack reliever Bryan Johnson and he was replaced by pinch runner Andrew Castillo. Pinch hitter Robbie Wilder attempted to bunt Castillo to third base but struckout for the first out of the inning. Shortstop Brian Fiengan was intentionally walked to setup the double play but Andrew Sansaver drew a walk to load the bases. Matthew Inouye’s sacrifice fly down the left field line scored the lone run of the game..
Johnson fell to 1-2 on the season after allowing the run in the bottom of the 10th. Guy McDowell improved to 2-1 on the season with the win.
Jacob Butler went hitless in four at bats and had his career and WAC season high 20-game hit streak come to an end. Finegan and Jaziel Mendoza had two hits each of the Rainbows.
Game two of the series was slated for Friday at 9:35 p.m. Pacific time. Game three of the series is today.