Nevada baseball rolls to victory
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – There is something about the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs that bring out the best in the Nevada Wolf Pack.
The Pack, thanks to the five-hitter of Tim Schoeninger and homers by Bub Madrid and Ben Mummy, made it 12 straight Western Athletic Conference wins against the ‘Dogs after rolling to an easy 10-2 win Friday at Peccole Park.
Nevada had been mired in a huge slump, having lost nine of its last 10 games, and going through a span of 20 scoreless innings. The Pack suffered their first shutout at home in 450 games in Tuesday’s nonconference loss against Stanford.
Obviously Louisiana Tech was just what the doctor ordered. During the 12-game winning streak against the ‘Dogs, Nevada has enjoyed a 143-44 advantage in the runs scored department.
“They are a lot better team than how we made it seem today,” said Madrid. “I can’t explain it. We just seem to bring it to them.
“It was huge for our team. Hopefully we can get on a roll. We did everything today (offense, defense and pitching). We hadn’t been doing anything lately.”
That’s an understatement. This had to be a welcome relief to finally see some well-hit balls find holes and to get good pitching.
“I think we played a pretty complete game,” said coach Gary Powers, who notched career win 695. “Other than the one error in the eighth, and that was a tough ball to play. We’ve played well against them. They’re very competitive. We knew we would have to come to the park ready to play hard.
“Tim controlled the game for us. He pitched to both sides of the plate with his fastball, and that made his curve and change better. I think he wanted to pitch well and he did.”
Schoeninger fanned eight and walked one in what was one of his best outings of the season.
“I felt in a good groove,” Schoeninger said. “I was able to locate my pitches in and out and up and down. They’re an aggressive team at the plate, and I was able to take advantage of that.”
And, it didn’t hurt that the Pack broke their 20-inning scoreless streak in the first inning with two runs.
Dayton’s Matt Bowman slammed a double to the left-centerfield gap, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Jacob Butler’s infield out. Mummy followed with a booming homer to left-centerfield off starter-loser Ryan Rupert to make it 2-0.
Powers was quick to point out that a good defensive play in the top of the inning may have helped get the Pack off to that quick start.
Tech’s Brandon Haygood singled to open the game, and Brandon Hudson followed with a slow chopper toward second. Madrid fielded the ball flipped it to Marcial, who fired a strike to Mummy at first to complete the twin killing.
Tech’s bats went quiet. Over the next five innings, Schoeninger allowed just one walk and one hit.
In that same span, Nevada scored single runs in the second, fourth and fifth before exploding for four runs in the sixth to take a 9-0 lead.
Madrid drove in a run in the second with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 and followed with a homer in the fourth to make it 4-0. Butler doubled and scored on a passed ball in the fifth. The big hit in the four-run sixth was a two-run single by Bowman through a drawn-in Louisiana Tech infield.
The Bulldogs scored a single run in the seventh and eighth against Schoeninger before Chris Scott mopped up in the ninth.
And, it was nice to see the offense wake up with eight hits. Besides the aforementioned homers, Bowman and Jason Butler had two hits apiece, and Shawn Scobee and Robert Marcial added one each.