Nevada wins behind Scurry
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – It was the Rod Scurry and David Ciarlo Show Friday night at Peccole Park.
Scurry, the 6-foot-7 right-hander from Galena High School, allowed only two hits and struck out a career-high eight batters over seven shutout innings, and Ciarlo homered and scored both Nevada runs in a 2-0 victory over Fresno State in a Western Athletic Conference baseball game.
Nevada, 20-16 overall and 4-4 in conference, moved to within a game of Fresno State, Hawai’i and Louisiana Tech, all of whom are 5-3 in conference.
The win was Scurry’s first Division I win, and he showed good command of all his pitches, especially after he worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, which ended with freshman Shaun Kort snagging a liner off the bat of Tommy Mendonca.
To celebrate, several of his teammates even doused him with shaving cream while he was doing his post-game interview.
“He pitched like that all fall,” catcher Konrad Schmidt said. “His curveball was real good, and everything he did came off the fastball.”
“That was probably the best outing I’ve ever seen here,” said Ciarlo. “I don’t know if it gets much better than that. He made great pitches when he needed to.”
Scurry hopes it’s his coming-out party; a sign of better things to come.
“Let’s hope so,” Scurry said. “I can’t promise anything. It (the first win) feels really good. It was a good win. My curveball was definitely my out pitch. I felt really good.”
Scurry came out after 112 pitches, 69 of which were strikes, and he tried to talk coach Gary Powers into starting the eighth inning.
“The bottom line is that we have a long way to go,” Powers said. “You have to do the right thing. It was nice to see him get his first win in such a big game. He threw 114 pitches. Let the next guy do his job.”
That next guy was right-hander Mario Rivera, who retired all six batters he faced to notch his third save of the season.
“We (Scurry and Rivera) were out in the outfield talking before the game, and he told me, ‘You go the first seven and I’ll finish the last two.’ ”
Rivera, who has seen action both as a starter and reliever this season, was equally impressive. He lowered his ERA to a respectable 3.44.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever said anything like that,” Rivera said. “It’s an adjustment (to start and relieve). At least coach Powers let me know ahead of time I’d be closing this weekend. Last weekend, he told me the day of that I was starting.
“I didn’t feel any pressure. I was trying to get ahead with first-pitch strikes, and I did that on five of the six hitters.”
Rivera said he would be willing to perform in any role needed, and Powers said that attitude and performance is vital to any success.
Fresno State’s Justin Wilson almost matched Scurry pitch-for-pitch. The FSU lefty allowed only three hits over seven innings.
“You have to give Justin Wilson credit,” Powers said. “He struggled in that one inning, but he pitched himself out of it to keep them in the game.”
Wilson’s worst inning was the third when he allowed a lead-off single to Ciarlo and then walked the next three hitters to force in a run before getting Terry Walsh to ground into a double play.
Ciarlo led off the fifth with his first homer of the season, a drive over the left field fence.
“He (Wilson) hung a slider,” said Ciarlo. “It was the same pitch (as before). I just waited on it. I wasn’t trying to hit a homer. I was trying to hit a line drive. The ball just got up and got out of here. I thought it might get out. I hit it pretty good.”
It was all Scurry and Rivera the rest of the way, and Fresno’s hitters were no match for the two Nevada right-handers.
Notes: The annual Easter Egg hunt will start today at noon, and it’s open to middle schoolers and below. A game ticket must be purchased to participate in the event … Schmidt extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the second inning.