Nevada baseball takes Buffalo by the horns
BY THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service
RENO – Friday the 23rd belonged to No. 23 Ryan Rodriguez and the struggling Nevada baseball team.
“His maturity and leadership kind of lead the way because he took a 3-0 game and established himself and got back in the groove,” Nevada coach Gary Powers said. “He shut them out the next four innings and gave us a chance.”
The senior pitcher threw seven strong innings to move up in to second place in three career categories (innings, strikeouts and wins), and the Wolf Pack ended a three-game skid by coming back to beat Buffalo, 13-3, Friday afternoon in front of an announced crowd of 604 at Peccole Park.
“It’s good to come out here and put the team in position to win,” Rodriguez said. “The offense obviously did a great job today. It’s good for us to get a win today.”
Nevada (5-9) entertains Buffalo (1-1) today at 1 p.m. in the second game of a three-game series. Sunday’s game concludes the series and has been moved up from 2 p.m. to 11 a.m.
“A lot of guys feed off one another. We didn’t get off to a very good start early in the game,” Powers said. “We moved some runners into scoring position and took advantage of it by getting some base hits in key situations. It got us some momentum, and we fed off that.”
One shaky inning spoiled Rodriguez from a shutout performance. Nevertheless, the Wolf Pack came back with five runs in the fourth inning and four in the sixth after he gave up three in the third.
“They just got some hits here and there and that’s going to happen,” said Shaun Kort, who finished 3-for-4 with two triples. “The big thing is we came back and we just got some runs to match them.”
Kort led off the fourth inning with a triple past the diving Eric Flynn in center field and then scored on Konrad Schmidt’s blooped single into right field.
“We just needed to get something going. Our team needed to win a game,” Kort added. “Triples aren’t usually the things I do. I’m pretty slow, but the he (Flynn) had some trouble out there and it just went to my advantage.”
Another bloop single drove in the second run when Dan Eastham hit one to right field, and Nevada tied the game when Bulls starter Mike Radanovic tried to pick off Eastham at first. Cody Fierro and Jason Sadoian each singled in a run to break the 3-3 tie.
“We’re going to score a lot of runs, and hopefully our pitchers keep doing what they’re doing and give us a chance to win a game,” said David Ciarlo, who also tripled.
The Bulls tagged Rodriguez for three runs in the third inning, which began with a double to right field followed by a single in the same direction. Nick Walczak smacked the first pitch past Chris Siewart at shortstop to drive in a run and the second came on sacrifice fly to center. Rodriguez balked with two outs for the third run of the inning.
“I left a couple pitches up. It didn’t go my way for that inning,” Rodriguez said.