LAS VEGAS – The fourth-seeded Nevada Wolf Pack (29-26) used a dominant pitching performance by junior right-hander Jason Deitrich to survive an elimination game on Thursday afternoon to advance in the 2014 Mountain West Championship. Nevada shutout No. 7-seed San José State Spartans by a score of 4-0 in game four at UNLV’s Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
In Deitrich’s thirteenth start of the year, he went all nine innings and gave up 10 hits, while walking just one to go with two strikeouts on 128 pitches.
“I felt comfortable because we scored runs early. That helped me settle down a little bit. I was trying to pitch to contact and get some early outs,” Dietrich said.
Offensively, junior designated hitter Ryan Teel went 3-for-4 on the day with two runs scored, including an RBI single in the second inning to score third basemen Bryce Barger for the game’s first run. A batter later, junior shortstop Kyle Hunt hit a two-RBI single up the middle that allowed Teel and junior catcher Jordan Devencenzi to score to give the Wolf Pack an early 3-0 lead.
Barger went 2-for-3 with one run scored, as freshman outfielder Trenton Brooks was the third Nevada player with a multiple-hit day, finishing 2-for-4 from the plate.
Wolf Pack head coach Jay Johnson pointed to his team’s defensive play to help Dietrich to such a successful day.
“This whole year we have been good at playing for the inning ahead of us and we are just really proud of Jason today,” Johnson said. “We had a very good effort by our defense that gave us the momentum all day.”
The Spartans (19-38) were led on the mound by junior transfer Myles Richard, who made his first start of the season. Richard lasted three innings and gave up four earned runs on eight hits to go with three strikeouts.
SJSU did manage to grab nine hits on the game but stranded 11 runners on base. Spartan senior catcher Kyle Gallegos led his team on the offensive end as he went 2-for-5 on the day and finished the tournament with an impressive .583 batting average (7-for-12).
Nevada advances to play the lowest losing seed on Friday at 11 a.m. PT from Thursday’s two other games. No. 3 San Diego State and No. 2 New Mexico play at 3 p.m. PT, followed by No. 5 Fresno State and No. 1 UNLV at 7 p.m. PT.