Reno, Nev. – The Nevada baseball team (14-11, 5-5 MW) came out on top against Air Force (10-12, 2-3 MW) in a 4-3 walkoff thriller at Don Weir Field at Peccole Park on Friday evening. Junior Jaylon McLaughlin delivered the walk-off RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth to give Nevada the win.
With tonight’s victory, head coach T.J. Bruce is now one victory away from reaching 100 as a head coach for the Wolf Pack. He will have a chance to reach the milestone when Nevada battles Air Force again tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Junior lefty Ryan Anderson pitched a gem, tossing six innings while striking out 10 batters and only allowing two runs. By the middle of the fourth inning, eight of Anderson’s 12 outs recorded came via strikeout. Nevada totaled 14 strikeouts as a team on the day.
McLaughlin’s big day began in the first, when he scored the first run of the day thanks to sophomore Joshua Zamora’s RBI-double. Air Force came back with a two-run shot in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead, but junior Dillan Shrum smacked an RBI-single in the home half of the inning to tie the game at two.
Grant Ford came in to pitch the seventh for Nevada, and struck out the side. The Pack took the lead in the bottom of the frame thanks to freshman Julian Boyd’s RBI-double down the left-field line that scored junior Marco Valenzuela from second base.
The Falcons’ Nic Ready hit a solo shot in the top of the eighth with two outs to tie the game at three, but Cooper Powell came in and recorded the last out of the inning to keep the game tied. Bradley Bonnenfant pitched a one, two, three ninth inning to give Nevada the chance to walk it off.
Junior Wyatt Tilley was the first man up in the ninth, and was hit by a pitch to put the winning run on first base. Tyler Bosetti pinch ran for Tilley, and the sophomore advanced to second on a groundout by Valenzuela. With two outs, McLaughlin played hero for the second time in as many weeks as he delivered a walk-off at home to give Nevada the win.
The Pack will be back against the Falcons and look to clinch the series on Saturday at 4 p.m. T.J. Sarbaker will have the call on 94.1 FM/1450 AM for Nevada, with the game available via live stream on the Mountain West Network.