Nevada blows out University of San Francisco, 13-2 |

Nevada blows out University of San Francisco, 13-2

Jeremy Evans

RENO — Brandon Gottier needed a confidence booster. He got one on Tuesday against the University of San Francisco.

Gottier, who brought a 6.56 ERA into the game, pitched six innings and allowed only two earned runs in the Wolf Pack’s 13-2 win over the Dons in front of 972 fans at Peccole Park. Gottier improved his season record to 3-3.

“I was really pleased with Brandon Gottier giving us six quality innings,” coach Gary Powers said of his 6-foot-2 junior from Yakima, Wash. “He’s had his struggles this season, so I was really pleased he pitched well. And I thought the three kids who came out of the bullpen did a good job of keeping the ball down. We’ve had some horrendous outings on Tuesday, as you all know.”

Not against the Dons, who dropped to 19-27 on the season. San Francisco only managed six hits in the game, which was no match for Nevada’s offensive outburst. Jacob Butler, who hit for the cycle in the Wolf Packs’s 21-5 win over Fresno State on Saturday, was 4-for-5 and fell a triple short of another cycle against the Dons.

Lead off hitter Ryan Strain and Brett Hayes both went 2-for-4 and Kevin Kouzmanoff and Chris Gimenez were both 2-for-5. Kouzmanoff, whose two-run homer in the fifth made it 12-2, finished with three RBI in the game. He now leads Nevada with 12 homers. Hayes also finished with three RBI. The Wolf Pack (24-19) scored in the each of the first six innings, including multiple run innings in four of those innings. They led 9-0 after the third.

San Francisco coach Nino Giarratano said his team was simply overmatched.

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“I thought they swung the bats great today,” Giarratano said. “We made a few mistakes and our pitchers didn’t do a bad job. But anytime your opponent scores runs in six straight innings, it’s going to be tough to win the game. We didn’t play horrible, they just played really well. Even if we had swung the bats well, I don’t think we would’ve been been able to put 13, 14 runs on the scoreboard.”

The Dons have only scored at least 10 runs in three games this season. But with Nevada’s bullpen so effective, they didn’t have much of a chance to score any runs.

Darrick Cummings, Ryan Harbaugh and Chris Scott all pitched one inning of relief for Gottier. It was the first solid all around outing for Nevada’s pitching staff on a Tuesday game this season. Ten different players hit for the Wolf Pack, who will play their next ten games at Peccole Park. They are in good position to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference. With a 12-5 record, they are four games ahead of third-place Fresno State. Giarratano said if Nevada hits like it did against the Dons’ six pitchers, it could make a nice run toward the postseason.

“They were just hitting some tough pitches. They were making good swings on bad pitches and that’s tough to overcome. Not a lot of teams can do that.”

Steve Spurgeon (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing six runs on six hits in just 1 1/3 inning.