Nevada wins both games on Saturday against Louisiana Tech
RENO — After two wins over Louisiana Tech on Saturday at Peccole Park, the University of Nevada baseball team is above .500 for the first time this season.
Mateo Miramontes improved his season record to 6-1 with Nevada’s 10-3 win in the first game, then second-game starter J.T. Sherman also got his record above .500 (4-3) after pitching 6 2/3 innings in Nevada’s 8-5 win in front of 1,109 fans.
Zachary Basch picked up his sixth save of this season in the second game, which gave the Wolf Pack a 16-15 record going in today’s game at 1 p.m. Nevada, which had 25 hits in the two games, hovered at .500 three different times this season, but always seemed to lose the following game.
“Right now there are a lot of guys doing well,” said junior outfielder Chris Dickerson. “I feel we’re really on all cylinders.”
Dickerson, who had been hitting just over .200 coming into the series, went 4-for-8 in the two wins over the Bulldogs, who feel to 10-20-1 overall. So is Dickerson, the Wolf Pack’s most dangerous hitter, finally out of his slump?
“No, not yet,” said Dickerson, who has dropped to the lower third of the batting order since the beginning of the season. “I was thinking I might be but I’m not out of the woods yet. I can see the light, though. We have so many weapons in our lineup that it doesn’t matter where I hit.”
The first game started in the top of the sixth, which is when Friday’s scheduled game was suspended because of snow. The Wolf Pack was leading 5-2 at the time and ace Mateo Miramontes was rolling right along. With only a three-run lead, though, the Wolf Pack knew the game was far from over.
“Five-two game and the game was certainly in question at the start,” said Nevada coach Gary Powers. “I was really pleased with the way we came into the game. With the tough weather conditions, we played solid baseball.”
The Wolf Pack (6-2 WAC) scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth and Travis Sutton, who replaced Miramontes (6-1) in the sixth, pitched four solid innings. He struck out seven and allowed two hits and one run.
In the second game, Louisiana Tech starter Jon Lockwood, a junk ball pitcher, struggled the first two innings and allowed Nevada to gain control early. It’s something the Wolf Pack players have grown accustomed to.
“We always watch pitchers warming up and we can see when their pitches aren’t moving or breaking (because of the altitude),” Dickerson said. “You never know if they’ll adjust in time for the game. They usually they don’t. That’s one of the things pitchers have trouble with here at Peccole and we try and take advantage of that.”
Lockwood allowed eight runs and four runs in the first two innings, then retired 11 straight batters. Dickerson hit an RBI triple to make it 2-0 in the second, then Robert Marcial and Brett Hayes each added RBI singles, which gave Sherman a comfortable lead to work with. He easily held it until the seventh inning, which is when Louisiana Tech closed the lead to 6-5 after scoring two runs in the seventh. The sidearm throwing Basch stepped in and, in the final 2 1/3 innings, he gave up only one hit.
Chris Gimenez went 3-for-7 with in the two games and Kevin Kouzmanoff was 4-for-8. Nine different Nevada players recorded a hit in the games. The Bulldogs, who had lost three straight before coming to Reno, fell to 3-8 in WAC play.
“Right now, it’s about keeping up with everybody in our conference,” Powers said. “We had different people step up for us and that’s the key to winning and losing.”
Notes: In the first game, Nevada pitchers Mateo Miramontes and Travis Sutton combined to strike out 16 batters, meaning 60 percent of Louisiana Tech’s outs were by strikeouts… Wolf Pack catcher Brett Hayes extended his hitting streak to 18 games on Saturday. He went 1-for-5 with two RBI in the first game and was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the second…Reed graduate and former Carson Capitol Carlos Madrid might miss the end of the season after a scary accident earlier this week in practice. Madrid was hit below the eye after a ball ricocheted off an object. He broke his eye socket as well as his nose in the freak accident. He will undergo surgery on Wednesday but will retain full vision once completed.