University of Nevada (19-20) senior outfielder Aaron Henry delivered the game winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning to complete the Wolf Pack three-run inning as they defeated CSU Bakersfield (8-27) 7-6 in the first game of a three-game nonconference series at Peccole Park Friday night. With the victory the Pack improved to 19-20 while the Roadrunners, a first-year program, fell to 8-27.
Trailing 4-3 Nevada right fielder Brett Hart hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game. The ‘Runners responded in the top of the ninth with three consecutive extra base hits to score two runs to move back in front 6-4. Right fielder Ryan McIntyre doubled and scored on catcher Jeremy Rodriguez’ triple to break the tie. A wild pitch by Pack reliever Tyler Graham allowed Rodriguez to score the second run of the inning and CSUB led 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Nevada got consecutive singles from shortstop Kevin Rodland, designated hitter Matt Bowman and center fielder Westley Moss to load the bases for first baseman Shaun Kort. Kort’s single to left field tied the game at 6-6. Third baseman Tyson Jaquez tried to bunt the runners into scoring position but Moss was retired at third base. Henry, who had entered the game in the top of the ninth inning to play left field, hit the first pitch he saw to left field for a single as Kort scored the winning run.
The Pack scored a run in the top of the first inning after Bowman started the game with a triple and scored on Kort’s sacrifice fly. CSUB scored twice in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. Shortstop Kyle Richardson and first baseman Richard Escalera each drove in a run.
Kort walked and eventually scored on Hart’s sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2. Jaquez’ home run in the bottom of the sixth inning put the Pack in front 3-2 but the ‘Runners scored twice in the seventh inning to regain the lead 4-3. Hart’s home run in the bottom of the eighth inning tied the score at 4-4 which setup the exciting finish.
Graham (2-2) earned the win despite allowing two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings on the mound. Spenser Messmore (1-2) was tagged with the loss giving up three runs on five hits in the ninth inning as he retired just one hitter.
Bowman (2-for-4,2R), Jaquez (2-for-5,R,RBI) and Rodland (2-for-4,R) led Nevada with two hits apiece. Kort drove in a game-high three on the night and Hart scored a pair.
Rodriguez (4-for-4,3R,RBI) was perfect at the plate for CSUB collecting a game-high four hits and drove in a run. Starting pitcher Martin Medina (2-for-3,2R), Richardson (2-for-4,R,RBI) and Escalera (2-for-4,2RBI) added two hits each as the team totaled 10. Escalera finished with a team-high two RBI for the Roadrunners.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.