Nevada baseball routed by Stanford
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Calling all cars. Calling all cars. Be on the lookout for the Nevada offense. Last seen in the vicinity of Virginia Street.
The Wolf Pack offense is lost. The Pack didn’t score a run in the final 11 innings of its series at Hawai’i last weekend, and that trend continued Tuesday at Peccole Park when Nevada managed four hits off four Stanford pitchers in a 13-0 loss.
The loss dropped Nevada to 20-21 overall. It’s the first time the Wolf Pack have been below .500 since the fifth game of the season. The loss was Nevada’s fourth straight and ninth in its last 10 games.
With the Pack having fallen to fourth place in the WAC after a brutal 1-5 road trip, now is not the time for the bats to stop producing.
“I don’t think offense is the problem,” Nevada catcher Brett Hayes said. “We’ve been hitting the ball. We just can’t seem to find the holes. We have to stay with our game and we’ll start hitting those gaps.
“I don’t know for sure. I’ve never given it thought (if we’ve gone scoreless for this long before). We’re hitting the ball hard. We’re just not getting runs.”
Nevada coach Gary Powers said its more than just offense. It has to do with playing defense and getting good pitching. The Pack have lacked both in their current skid.
“It’s frustrating,” said Powers, who remained six wins shy of 700 career victories. “During the last nine or 10 games we’ve been making way too many critical mistakes that we haven’t been able to overcome. If anything you get too far behind and then try to do too much (at the plate). We’ve got to get back to the basics.
“I think it was good for our good hitters to see good pitching (today). We’re going to see good pitching the rest of the way out.”
Stanford, because it didn’t have a conference series over the weekend, threw its top seven pitchers the last two days against UC Davis and Nevada, and the staff allowed seven total hits and zero runs.
Matt Leva, Nolan Gallagher, Blake Holler (weekend starter) and closer Matt Manship easily tamed Nevada, striking out seven and walking two.
“I thought we pitched well,” veteran Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. “We’ve pitched great the last two games . We had a little advantage. We didn’t have a league series over the weekend. We threw the eight guys we normally would (in a series) the last two days.
“Obviously if you are on that side, they are saying that they are not swinging the bat well. They are a good offensive team.”
So is Stanford. The Cardinal pounded 11 hits and took advantage of seven walks and a hit batsman. John Hester slammed a two-run homer and Chris Minaker hit a three-run bomb in the ninth. John Mayberry Jr., son of former Royals great John Mayberry slammed two doubles.
Stanford scored three in the first two innings off starter-loser Chris Scott, who suffered his first loss in five decisions.
Jed Lowrie hit a run-scoring double in the first and Adam Sorgi banged a two-run single in the second.
An unearned run against reliever Patrick Mason made it 4-0 in the fifth, but it got ugly in the seventh and ninth innings when Stanford scored nine times against four different Nevada pitchers.
Hayes hinted that the competitiveness and effort might be lacking among the pitching staff.
“I know how guys throw and when they come out and don’t compete like I know they can, it’s frustrating,” he said.
Notes: Nevada’s Eric Newman had two hits, and Ben Mummy and Hayes added one each … Sorgi stretched his hitting streak to eight games … Mayberry Jr. has a team-leading 18 multi-hit games … Nevada basketball standout Nick Fazekas was in attendance most of the game … Nevada hosts Louisiana Tech Friday (2 p.m.), Saturday ( 1 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) … Powers said he doesn’t plan on any lineup changes because none of the players on the bench have delivered when opportunities have been there.