Rasner breaks another record, Powers records his 600th career victory with 4-2 win
RENO — Darrell Rasner broke another record and Gary Powers got his 600th victory, but that wasn’t the topic of conversation following Nevada’s 4-2 win over Louisiana Tech before 1,239 fans on Friday afternoon at Peccole Park.
The only thing highlighted was that the Wolf Pack won their first Western Athletic Conference of the season after dropping three-straight to Rice.
“We knew it’d be a tough game, but this sets the tone for the rest of this weekend and gets us on the win column in the WAC,” Rasner said.
Nevada (13-14, 1-3) rallied behind Rasner, who pitched his second complete game of the season and became the all-time leader in innings pitched at Nevada (296 2/3). Rasner already is the career wins (26) and strikeout leader, but he’s more impressed with Powers’ milestone.
“That was cool,” said Rasner when asked how it felt to pitch in Powers’ 600th win. “(Getting him) No. 600, couldn’t ask for anything more. 600 wins is amazing in whatever you do.”
Now in his 20th season at Nevada, Powers has a 600-443 record and joins more than 60 other coaches who have won at least 600 games. The University of Texas’ Augie Garrido is the current active NCAA leader with 1,347 wins. Never one to boast, Powers deflected a chance for personal praise after the game. After all, he knew No. 600 would happen at some point this season.
“I’m just thankful that I’ve been around this long and had the opportunity to do that,” Powers said. “The kids that have been here and bought into the philosophy, they made this possible for me.”
Powers was just pleased with how No. 600 was won.
“That was a nice baseball game,” Powers said. “Two pitchers going at one another. Two hours and 20 minutes, you don’t see that very often.”
Because of a superb pitcher’s duel between Rasner and the Bulldogs’ Lee Gwaltney, the game was the quickest of the season at Peccole Park. Rasner, a junior, came out on top after picking up his fourth win of the season. He struck out eight batters, giving him 256 for his career, and walked four batters.
Gwaltney was equally effective, striking out five and only walking one in eight innings of work. The decisive inning was the sixth. After an error in the top half of the inning tied the game at 2, Mike Gillies’ solo homer put the Wolf Pack on top for good. Tony Cappuccilli followed with an RBI double that scored Erick Streelman.
Nevada (13-14 overall, 1-3 WAC) recorded 10 hits off Gwaltney, an imposing 6-foot-7 senior pitcher who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals after his junior year. Gillies, Cappuccilli, and Streelman all ended up going 2-for-4 with an RBI against the Bulldogs, who dropped their sixth-straight WAC game.
“When you can get 10 hits on a pitcher like that, that’s pretty good,” Powers said.
In the seventh, Louisiana Tech (14-15, 1-6) nearly cut into the Wolf Pack’s lead. After Rasner walked Michael Hall to start the inning, he allowed a single to Cullen Simmons. Rasner got Kyle Humphreys to pop up, then an odd play allowed him to escape the inning unharmed.
With runners on first and second, Nick Cauley flied out to center for the second out, but Hall rounded third on the play, apparently not realizing there was only one out. After returning to second base, Gillies, the third baseman, pleaded to the umpire that Hall didn’t touch third on his way back to second. The umpire bought the argument. The Bulldogs never threatened after that. Rasner, who threw 142 pitches, struck out three of the final six batters.
“That was very helpful. I’m going to give credit to Gillies for that one,” Rasner said of getting out of the seventh. “The defense came out and made plays behind me today. I walked a few more guys than I should have, but my fast ball was working for me. I didn’t think about it (coming out of the game). I felt stronger towards the end.”
The same two teams will play today at 1 p.m. at Peccole Park and conclude their three-game series on Sunday.