Reno, Nev. – Junior Jaylon McLaughlin delivered a thrilling walk-off victory for Nevada (11-8) on Tuesday as he knocked in the game-tying run with an RBI-triple and scampered home on a throwing error to snap Saint Mary’s (13-7) eight-game winning streak. The Wolf Pack entered the ninth inning trailing 5-4, but a leadoff single by Marco Valenzuela and the two-out triple and heads up baserunning by McLaughlin secured the 6-5 victory.
McLaughlin blasted a shot to right center field between two outfielders and dove into third base as the tying run in Valenzuela crossed home plate. The throw from the cutoff man sailed over the head of the third baseman, and the heads up baserunning and speed of McLaughlin sent him home to complete the comeback and walk-off on the Gaels.
Brad Bonnentfant (3-1) picked up the victory after tossing a shutout ninth inning that allowed Nevada to comeback in the bottom of the frame. The Wolf Pack used six pitchers on the afternoon, with three innings coming from junior Josh Congress’ first start in a Nevada uniform.
McLaughlin knocked in the first run of the game in the second, as he scored Dillan Shrum from third on a sacrifice fly to give the Pack a 1-0 lead. The Gaels took over offensively, scoring five unanswered runs in the third and fourth innings to jump out to a 5-1 advantage.
Nevada began to claw back in the sixth inning, as junior Daniel Perry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Shrum. Sophomore Joshua Zamora delivered a huge hit in the same frame, driving in two runs to cut the Saint Mary’s deficit to one.
Shane Gustafson pitched a shutout seventh and eighth innings to keep Nevada within striking distance before Bonnenfant got the job done in the ninth.
Valenzuela’s leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth put him on first, but the next two Wolf Pack batters couldn’t move him over and McLaughlin stepped into the batters box with two outs in the ninth and delivered the win.
The Pack will be on the road this weekend when it travels to face intrastate rival UNLV. A live stream will be available on the Mountain West Network, with Ghizal Hasan calling all the action on 94.1 FM/1450 AM.