Nevada clinging to fourth place going into pivotal series at Air Force
Fresno didn’t take kindly to the notion of Nevada pulling off its first sweep of the season.
After taking the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday, Nevada allowed 25 hits, used eight different pitchers, and allowed four or more runs in four different innings in a lopsided 27-5 loss at Peccole Park on Sunday afternoon.
The score was comparable to the Wolf Pack and Bulldogs’ meeting in last year’s Mountain West Tournament when Nevada bounced the regular-season champs with a resounding 25-6 win and eventually earned a spot in the title game.
Despite failing to bring out the brooms, Nevada (13-27, 9-12) has now claimed two straight conference series and three of its last four to leapfrog San Jose State into fourth place. Only the top four teams earn a spot in the MW tournament this year.
Fresno (19-20, 9-9) snapped a three-game skid with the rout and remained a game and a half in front of Nevada for third.
The Wolf Pack trailed 7-3 going to the sixth when the Bulldogs plated seven, then four more in the seventh, and seven in the eighth.
First baseman Aaron Arruda went 4-for-4 with three home runs, nine RBIs and scored four times. He also drew two walks. All nine of Fresno’s starters finished with at least two hits.
Nevada will go for its third-straight series win this weekend at Air Force (19-20, 8-13), which just swept San Jose State on the road. The Wolf Pack took two of three from the Falcons a month ago at Peccole Park.
Nevada 7, Fresno State 3
Reed grad Mark Nowaczewski took the hill on Saturday night for the first time since being named the Mountain West Pitcher of the Week following a complete-game victory over San Jose State.
The league office announced Monday morning Nowaczewski won the award for the second time in as many weeks and third time in his career. He’s the only Nevada player to earn Pitcher or Player of the Week honors this season.
Nowaczewski (3-4) went eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. He matched a career high with six strikeouts and walked three. His second-straight win stretched Nevada’s longest winning streak of the season to four.
With a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth, senior shortstop Justin Bridgman provided plenty of insurance with a bases-loaded three-run double.
Freshman left fielder Chase Grant hit his first collegiate home run in the bottom of the second, a three-run blast that provided the first runs of the ballgame.
Nevada 5, Fresno State 4
Nevada senior right hander Trevor Charpie has lost four one-run games this season, but on Friday night, he was the winner in a one-run game as the Wolf Pack defeated Fresno State 5-4 at Peccole Park in the first of three Mountain West games.
A three-run bottom of the fourth put the Pack up to stay, breaking a 2-2 tie. Third baseman Jordan Pearce singled home one run, Mike Echavia walked with the bases loaded to score the second run and the third run scored when Fresno turned a double play.
A two-out double in the top of the ninth from Austin Guibor got the Bulldogs within a run at 5-4. With pinch runner Ryan Dobson at second base, Pack closer Evan McMahan recorded his second strikeout of the inning to seal the 5-4 victory.
Charpie (2-5) tossed seven innings to earn his second win of the season. McMahan earned his third save of the season and 12th of his career which broke a tie for fifth with Tyler Graham (2009-11) on the Nevada career list. His 82 career appearances are third most at Nevada.