The University of Nevada(1-0) baseball team got a three-run home from junior shortstop Kevin Rodland in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Gonzaga(0-1) in the season opener for both clubs at tournament being hosted at Grand Canyon University’s Brazell Field in Phoenix, Ariz. The Wolf Pack begins the season 1-0 while the Bulldogs are 0-1 after the first game of the year.
Trailing 3-0 after seven innings of play the Pack scored three times in the top of the eighth on designated hitter Brock Stassi’s three-run homer to tie the game. Pinch hitter Waylen Sing Chow started the inning with a single and after an out was recorded Rodland reached on a single to extend his hit streak to 12-games. Stassi then collected his first hit at Nevada driving the ball over the left field fence to tie the game.
Gonzaga regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring a run on catcher Tyson Van Winkle’s RBI double that plated third baseman Jason Chatwood who reached on a walk. The Zags loaded the bases in the inning but reliever Sammy Miller induced a 5-4-3 double play to keep it a one run game.
In the top of the ninth inning the Pack scored four times to win 7-4. Catcher Michael Turay tied the game with his RBI single that scored first baseman Shaun Kort with the Pack’s fourth run of the game. Rodland then hit the Pack’s second, three-run homer of the game and it was 7-4.
Miller (1-0) faced four batters in the ninth inning and retired three to earn the win.
GU scored single runs in the first, third and sixth innings to take the early 3-0 advantage before the Pack bats came alive after Zags starter Matt Fields was lifted from the game. Fields allowed just three hits and struck out eight in his seven innings on the mound but received a no decision after Nevada rallied for the victory.
Rodland (2-for-5,2R,3RBI), right fielder Brett Hart (2-for-4) and left fielder Nick Melino (2-for-4) had two hits each to lead Nevada. Rodland and Stassi drove in three runs each with their home runs.
Center fielder Drew Heid (2-for-5) and first baseman Ryan Wiegand (2-for-5,RBI) led the Zags with two hits apiece.
Miller earned the win pitching two shutout innings. Jacob Hiatt (0-1) was tagged with the loss giving up four runs in his one inning on the mound.