Wolf Pack baseball notebook: Pack pitchers pounded by New Mexico State
For the Nevada Appeal
The Nevada Wolf Pack’s pitching staff received quite a workout this past weekend in Las Cruces, N.M., against the New Mexico State Aggies.
The Pack used 11 different pitchers in the four-game series and gave up 40 runs on 52 hits in just 30.2 innings. The Pack walked 25, threw four wild pitches, hit two batters and gave up 17 extra-base hits.
New Mexico State, which won the series (2-1-1), hit .385 in the series.
The only Pack pitcher who isn’t feeling a little battered after the trip to Las Cruces is Brock Stassi. Stassi pitched a complete-game (seven innings) 17-2 victory in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Stassi allowed just four hits and two runs while striking out seven.
Take Stassi’s numbers out of the mix and the other 10 Pack pitchers who stepped onto the mound this past weekend allowed 48 hits in 23.2 innings with 20 strikeouts and 23 walks to go along with an earned run average of 12.92.
The final two games of the series really took a toll on the Pack staff. Pack pitchers had to throw 231 pitches in the 17-7 loss in Saturday’s second game. They then had to come back less than 24 hours later to throw 193 pitches in Sunday’s afternoon game.
The 231 pitches in Saturday’s second game is the first time the Pack has thrown 200 or more pitches in a game since a 13-11 loss required 205 pitches at Peccole Park against Hawaii on April 10, 2009.
The Wolf Pack’s biggest problem in the four games was an inability to throw strikes. The Pack threw 712 pitches (an average of 23 each inning) in the series and just 396 were for strikes. Stassi, despite his solid outing, also struggled with the strike zone, walked just two despite throwing just 67 of his 121 pitches for strikes.
YRIGOYEN, MAHONEY STEP UP: Newcomers Garrett Yrigoyen and Cullen Mahoney made a strong bid this weekend for more playing time in the Pack infield.
Mahoney, a freshman from Phoenix, was 6-for-11 in the four games with six RBI. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed hitter improved his average this season to .293 with two homers and eight RBI in 20 games (10 starts). Mahoney had two homers in the Pack’s 17-2 victory in Saturday’s first game and two doubles in the 17-7 loss in Saturday’s second game.
Yrigoyen, a sophomore transfer from San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif., was 3-for-11 with a homer, double and two RBI against New Mexico State. The 6-2, 190-pounder is now hitting .270 in 20 games (16 starts). He has two homers this season after hitting just one all last season at Delta College.
Yrigoyen hit seventh and played third base while Mahoney hit eighth and played second in the final three games of the series.
Joe Kohan, the Pack’s normal starter at second base, was 0-for-1 on Friday with a run scored and three walks. He then missed the final three games of the series with an illness. Nick Leid, the Pack’s normal starter at third base, was 0-for-3 in the series.
KORT CLIMBING CHARTS: Senior first baseman Shaun Kort had eight hits against New Mexico State to move into fourth place on the Pack’s all-time career list just ahead of Matt Bowman (268 hits). Joe Inglett holds the Pack record with 321 career hits.
Kort is also closing in on Bowman on the Pack’s career doubles list. Bowman holds the school record with 68 doubles but Kort, who had two doubles this weekend, now has 64.
Kort is also climbing the charts in other career categories: games played (205, 6th place all-time), runs scored (154, 9th place), RBI (205, 5th place), at-bats (764, 6th) and walks (116, 4th).
BARNETT CONTINUES TO HIT: Former McQueen High and Western Nevada College player Brian Barnett went 8-for-18 in the four games at New Mexico State.
Barnett, a junior, has had a solid debut season so far for the Pack, hitting .327 with seven homers and 34 RBI. Barnett, the Pack’s starting left fielder, had a double, homer and 5 RBI against New Mexico State.
He has played in all 30 Pack games this year with 28 starts.
WALTERS GETS TWO STARTS: Freshman catcher Shawn Waklter got his first two hits and his first RBI and run scored in a Pack uniform this weekend.
Walters was 2-for-6 in two starts with a run scored and a RBI against the Aggies.
The 6-1, 198-pound Reno High graduate is now 2-for-11 (.182) this year in seven games (three starts).
Walters got an opportunity to play this weekend because freshman Carlos Escobar, who has split the starting catching duties this year with Michael Turay, missed the team flight to Las Cruces.
CIRCLING THE BASES: Freshman outfielder Ronnie Mitchell appeared in just one game (0-for-4) at New Mexico State after playing in 23 of the Pack’s first 26 games . . . Shortstop Kevin Rodland scored two runs in each of the four games at Las Cruces and has now scored as many runs (35) as he did all of last season . . . The Wolf Pack has allowed the second most unearned runs in the Western Athletic Conference this season with 41. New Mexico State has allowed 44 . . . Pack pitchers have the lowest strikeout rate (5.2 per game) in the WAC this season . . . Brock Stassi is sixth in the WAC in hitting at .400 . . . Barnett leads the WAC in strikeouts with 33. Rodland is tied for third with 30 . . . The Pack leads the WAC with 45 stolen bases. Westley Moss leads the WAC with 14 steals . . . Kort leads the WAC with 15 doubles and Stassi leads the conference with five triples.