University of Nevada (18-19, 7-4 WAC) junior outfielder Brett Hart entered the game in the top of the eighth inning as a defensive replacement in right field but delivered a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Wolf Pack had fallen behind as they went on to win 8-7 over New Mexico State in the final game of a four-game Western Athletic Conference series at Peccole Park in Reno, Sunday afternoon. Each team won two games in the four-game series played over the last four days.
With the victory the Pack moved one half game in front of the Aggies into first place in the WAC standings with a 7-4 record while NMSU dropped to 7-5. Overall Nevada is now 18-19 and the Aggies 32-8.
Behind the pitching of senior Derek Achelpohl the Pack led 4-1 heading into the top of the eighth inning but the Aggies exploded for six runs on eight hits. NMSU hit three consecutive home runs in the inning with the first coming from shortstop Bryan Marquez’ which scored three runs. Designated hitter Mike Sodders and left fielder Leo Aguirre followed with solo home runs and it was 7-4 Aggies.
In the bottom half of the eighth consecutive singles from second baseman Nick Leid, catcher Travis Simas and shortstop Kevin Rodland scored a run. Hart then stepped to the plate and hit his first home run of the season over the left field wall on a 0-1 count to put the Pack on top 8-7.
Aggie catcher Jeffrey Farnham singled in the top of the ninth inning but a 6-4-3 double play followed and a lineout by right fielder Nate Shaver ended the game.
The Aggies struck first in the top of the first inning scoring a run on three hits. After back-to-back hits to start the game, Sodders singled home the first run of the day with a single to center field.
Nevada scored three times in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. Simas singled with one down and scored on Rodland’s triple. Rodland was thrown out at home trying to score on a ground ball off the bat of right fielder Matt Bowman. Bowman eventually scored on first baseman Shaun Kort’s single. Center fielder Westley Moss scored the third run of the inning on a double steal with Kort. Moss singled in the seventh inning and came around to score on third baseman Tyson Jaquez’ RBI single to center field to put Nevada on top 4-1 and that’s where it remained until the high scoring eighth inning.
Pack reliever Daniel Tinlin (3-0) earned his third win of the season despite allowing two runs on five hits in two innings on the mound. NMSU reliever Jake Wilson (2-1) lost his first of the season giving up four runs on four hit and retired one hitter in the game.
Moss (3-for-5,2R) led the Pack with three hits and scored two runs. Jaquez (2-for-3,RBI), Simas (2-for-4,2R) and Rodland (2-for-4,R,2RBI) added two hits apiece as the team totaled 12 on the day. Hart drove in a career-high three with his first home run in the silver and blue.
Farnham (3-for-5,2R,RBI0 led the Aggies with two hits while Shaver (2-for-5,R), Sodders (2-for-4,R,2RBI) and Aguirre (2-for-4,R,RBI) had two each. Marquez tied Hart for game-high honors with three RBI, all coming on his 18th home run of the season.
Nevada will continue its season-long home stand on Tuesday hosting Pacific at 6:00 p.m.