Rasner hurls shutout for Wolf Pack
RENO – Darrell Rasner is a changed pitcher since he graduated from Carson High School last June.
To be more specific, he can throw a changeup.
On Saturday, the new pitch helped Rasner ring up his first shutout for the University of Nevada, a six-hit performance that gave the Wolf Pack a 4-0 win against Loyola Marymount on a sunny afternoon at Peccole Park.
Rasner (6-0) worked out of a serious ninth-inning jam to pick up his second complete game in as many starts as Nevada improved its season record to 13-6 before a crowd of 1,859 – the fourth largest in Peccole Park history.
“I can’t say enough about his performance today,” Nevada coach Gary Powers said of Rasner. “He showed a tremendous amount of poise. He got ahead on the count and he stayed ahead.”
Rasner wasn’t accepting any credit afterward, though.
“I’ve got so much confidence in my team right now,” Rasner said. “We have an awesome defense. I know I can throw whatever I want and if somebody hits the ball, they’ll make the play or turn a double play.”
Shortstop Matt Maguire, second baseman Joey Herrera and Don Price at first base combined to turn double plays to end two Loyola innings.
Rasner allowed five hits, no walks and only one base runner as far as second base through eight innings. The freshman right-hander was throwing his fast ball and slider for strikes, and then there was that changeup.
“The change was working today. I’m surprised because I never really had a changeup until this year. Coach (Stan) Stolte has spent a lot of time helping me with that pitch,” said Rasner, who was Northern 4A conference Pitcher of the Year for Carson High School in 1998 and ’99.
His changeup helped close the door during a tense ninth.
Loyola pinch hitter Chad Lindholm walked to lead off the inning and Mike Hymes dropped a single into short center field. After Rasner threw a first pitch ball to Anthony Angel, Nevada coach Gary Powers paid a visit to the mound.
“He just told me to keep the ball low and try to get a ground ball,” Rasner said.
After retiring Angel on a fly ball to Joe Inglett in center field, Rasner did get a ground ball to shortstop, but Herrera dropped the throw at second, leaving the bases loaded with one out.
Rasner responded to the challenge. First, Loyola cleanup hitter Jason Aspito went down swinging on a changeup. Then Tommy Perez hit a full-count changeup – Rasner’s 131st pitch – up in the air to Ryan Church in left field for the third out.
“To throw a 3-2 change with the bases loaded to get the final out, that says a lot for his ability and what he’s about,” Powers said.
Nevada took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Price homered to left and Inglett drew a two-out bases loaded walk from Loyola starter Michael Schulz (2-2).
The Wolf Pack added two more runs in the eighth on two-out RBI singles from Church and Matt Ortiz.
The two teams conclude their weekend series with a 1 p.m. contest today at Peccole Park.