RENO, Nev. – Sacramento State trailed just 4-3 through six and a half innings but Nevada scored three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth to pull away for a 10-3 win on Wednesday night in Reno.
The game was played at Aces Ballpark in downtown Reno, the home of the Triple-A Reno Aces. Nevada (23-18) evened its season series against Sacramento State (28-18) after the Hornets beat the Wolf Pack 7-4 at Raley Field on Feb. 25. The contest was the final non-conference road game of the year for Sacramento State.
Making just the second start of his career, Hornet freshman Chad Perry allowed just two runs on five hits over four innings and departed in a 2-2 game, but three Hornet relievers combined to allow eight runs over five innings of work out of the bullpen. Nevada used seven pitchers in the contest with nobody throwing more than two innings in the win.
The Wolf Pack jumped on Perry early, scoring two runs off three hits, a walk, and a hornet error in the top of the first, but over his final three innings of work Perry faced just one batter more than the minimum, giving up two hits and a walk but rolling a pair of double plays.
Sacramento State was kept at bay by Nevada starter Jason Deitrich and reliever Mark Nowaczewski, but in the top of fifth the visitors were able to even the score. Senior Clay Cederquist led off with a double, and after a walk from freshman Brandon Hunley and a single from sophomore Nathan Lukes Cederquist came in from third on a balk. After another walk junior Rhys Hoskins hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Lukes with the tying run.
Nevada regained the lead with a run in the fifth and added another in the sixth to go up 4-2, but the Hornets got back within one in the top of the seventh when senior David Del Grande hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to score Hunley, who led off the inning with a single.
Junior Alex Palsha came on in the bottom of the seventh and recorded two quick outs before running into trouble. Four straight Wolf Pack singles and three wild pitches allowed three runs to score, with the final out of the inning coming when the last single was tried to be stretch to a double. Three more runs would score for Nevada in the eighth inning as the home team scored six runs over its last two at bats using only eight singles.
The 10 runs allowed, 16 hits allowed, and five wild pitches thrown were all season-worsts for the Hornets. Freshman Austin Ragsdale took the loss as he allowed the go-ahead runs in the fifth and sixth, and in his 27th appearance of the season Palsha allowed multiple runs for just the third time. Despite throwing just 2/3 of an inning Nevada reliever Jordan Dunatov earned his first win of the year.
Lukes recorded his WAC-leading 21st multi-hit game of the season, going 3-for-5 including a triple, just the third the Hornets have hit this season. Junior Kyle Moses was 2-for-4 in the No. 2 spot as the Hornets totaled nine hits. Kewby Meyer and Austin Byler each had three hits and two runs scored and two other Nevada players recorded two hits in the contest.
The Hornets host Chicago State this weekend in a WAC series at John Smith Field. Game times are 3 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.