Pitching fails Nevada again | NevadaAppeal.com

Pitching fails Nevada again

JOE SANTORO
For the Nevada Appeal

RENO – The Nevada Wolf Pack baseball team right now is a thoroughbred race horse that keeps stumbling out of the starting gate.

“It keeps going back to what we’ve been saying all year,” Pack coach Gary Powers said after a 10-6 loss to the UNLV Rebels on Saturday at Peccole Park. “Our starting pitching just isn’t allowing us to get in the game.”

Pack starting pitcher Tom Jameson struggled for the third time in three outings. The 6-foot-7 sophomore right-hander gave up eight hits and seven runs in four innings and now has a 21.85 earned run average. Jameson, who has lasted just a combined seven innings over his first three starts, has allowed 20 hits and has walked seven with just three strikeouts this season.

“We haven’t had a lead yet this season,” Powers said. “Our starting pitching just hasn’t been very good at all.”

The Wolf Pack, now 0-8 to start the year, will conclude this three-game series with its in-state rival this afternoon

(1 p.m.).

“It’s tough,” said Pack senior Brian Barnett, who had three hits, including his third home run of the year. “It’s getting more and more frustrating everyday because we know what we’re capable of.”

UNLV, now 10-2, scored twice in the first inning on a two-out, two-run double by Rance Roundy to take a quick 2-0 lead. The Pack has now been outscored 19-0 this season in the first inning and has trailed after 71 of its 72 innings this season. The only inning they didn’t trail was the first inning on Feb. 25 at Loyola Marymount when the score was 0-0.

A double by Barnett and a run-scoring single by Carlos Escobar cut UNLV’s lead (2-1) in half in the second. The Rebels, though, broke the game open with four runs in the third. Jameson allowed three hits in the inning, including a three-run homer by Brandon Bayardi. The Pack also committed two errors in the inning.

The Wolf Pack, though, fought back.

The Pack scored a run in the fourth on a triple by Joe Kohan and another RBI single by Escobar and added two runs in the fifth on a two-run homer by Hugo Hernandez to cut UNLV’s lead to 7-4.

“We thought we were in the game at 7-4,” Powers said. “But then our relief pitching gave up three more runs. That’s happened to us all season.”

The Pack, though, kept putting pressure on the Rebels. Barnett drilled a two-run home run in the seventh to cut UNLV’s lead to 10-6. The Pack also had the tying run on deck in the eighth with two outs but Barnett fanned on a 3-2 pitch with two runners on base to end the threat.

“I knew a fastball was coming,” Barnett said. “But it was a little up and a little hard to catch up to.”

The Wolf Pack had a season-high 12 hits but also left a season-high 13 runners on base.

“Our offense will come around,” Powers said. “We got some production from guys that we hadn’t gotten a lot of production before.”

In addition to Barnett’s three-hit day, Stassi walked three times and had a single, Escobar had three hits, Joe Kohan had two hits and Nick Melino walked and had a hit. The top two hitters (Anthony Rosa and Garrett Yrigoyen) in the Pack order, though, went 0-for-10.

“Right now, it’s all about starting pitching,” Powers said. “We haven’t had good starting pitching in seven of our eight games.”