Nevada baseball beats Hawai’i
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Tim Schoeninger lived in Colorado and pitched two years at Nebraska, so he is no stranger to cold, windy days.
On a day more fitting for an NFL playoff game, Schoeninger scattered 10 hits and Brett Hayes slammed a three-run homer in the second inning to spark Nevada to a 7-5 Western Athletic Conference victory over Hawai’i Friday at Peccole Park.
Nevada improved to 16-11 overall and 5-2 in the WAC. The Rainbows dropped to 15-19 overall and 3-7 in the conference.
Schoeninger said pitching in blustery conditions is part of the game.
“You have to deal with it and get the ball down,” he said after scattering 10 hits to even his record at 4-4. “You have to let the defense work behind, and the guys played well behind me.
“I was spotting the ball well (early) and was able to get ahead. Brett and I were on the same page all day.”
Nevada made two errors, but made three double plays, including Shawn Scobee’s great throw in the eighth to get Joe Spiers, who was trying to score on Rocky Russo’s fly ball to right field. Third baseman Eric Newman also made a nice diving catch of a line drive in the sixth inning. Bub Madrid was involved in two of the doubleplays and had five assists.
It was a far cry from Tuesday when the Pack made eight errors in the 11-8 loss to Cal Tuesday afternoon. Schoeninger said that was the furthest thing from his mind when he took the mound against Hawai’i.
“I thought we won the game because we made big defensive plays,” said Nevada coach Gary Powers, now 10 wins away from 700. “Anytime you leave 11 guys on base, you better play defense. Two guys (Madrid and Scobee) who didn’t contribute on offense played big roles in us winning the game.
“He (Schoeninger) did a tremendous job. He kept the ball down all day. He pitched very well. He’s probably done this (pitched in bad conditions) before. He maintained focus. He didn’t let the conditions distract him.”
While Schoeninger was able to pitch over the two Nevada errors, Hawai’i starter Stephen Bryant was not.
An error by second baseman Isaac Omura keyed a five-run second inning for Nevada.
Scobee walked and scored on Bake Krukow’s double into the left-center field gap. Matt Bowman struck out for the first out and Newman singled Krukow to third. Robert Marcial popped up to second for the second out. Madrid followed with a roller to Omura, who bobbled it and couldn’t make a play, allowing Krukow to score. Hayes followed with a towering homer to left, his fourth of the year. Two more runners reached base before Bryant fanned Scobee to end the inning.
Hawai’i cut the lead to 5-2 on run-scoring singles by Schafer Magana and Adam Roberts in the fourth, but Jacob Butler hit an inside-the-park homer to center to make it 6-2 after four.
Nevada tacked on a run in the fifth, and the score remained 7-2 until the ninth when Hawai’i pulled to within 7-5 on a three-run homer to left by Roberts. Schoeninger retired the next two hitters to end the game.
Notes: Weather permitting, the teams square off again today at 1 with Ryan Rodriguez opposing Colby Summer … Nevada is 13-1 when leading after seven innings … The complete game was Schoeninger’s third of the season.