No. 4 Nevada Upsets No. 2 New Mexico 9-4 in Extra Innings
LAS VEGAS – With the bases loaded in the top of the 11th inning and the game tied 3-3, Nevada junior shortstop Kyle Hunt roped an RBI single into right field to allow freshman outfielder T.J Friedl to come across for the go ahead run and a 4-3 lead. Friedl’s run turned out to be the first of six scored in the top of the eleventh as the Wolf Pack secured the 9-4 victory at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in the eighth game of the 2014 Mountain West Baseball Championship.
Nevada freshman outfielder/pitcher Trenton Brooks proved to be the answer for his team both offensively and on the mound to close the game out.
Brooks continued his impressive tournament as he went 2-for-6 with four RBI and pitched 2.1 innings to grab the victory (3-1) over the Lobos to reach Saturday’s elimination game at 3 p.m. PT with a trip to the championship game on the line. The Wolf Pack (31-26) will face the loser of Friday’s nightcap between No. 3 San Diego State and No. 1 UNLV.
“It was stressful day and New Mexico is really good, but we were excited for today,” Brooks said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I just tried to throw strikes and let my defense make plays and that’s what we did.”
In the top of the 10th inning with the Wolf Pack on the brink of elimination, junior left fielder Kewby Meyer came across home plate to give Nevada a one-run 3-2 lead.
Meyer’s run came when senior third baseman Bryce Barger roped a grounder to Lobos freshman third baseman Andre Vigil. Vigil made an error attempting to field the ball that allowed Meyer to come home and Barger to reach and secure the lead.
New Mexico answered back in the bottom of the 10th when freshman left fielder Danny Collier came through with an RBI single to tie the game 3-3 to keep his team alive.
After a relatively quick first five innings that saw Lobos starting junior pitcher Colton Thomson have a one-hitter through four innings, the Wolf Pack’s bats came alive in the top of the sixth inning to get their first two runs of the game on a Brooks single up the middle of the infield.
New Mexico (37-20-1) stranded 19 base runners in the game and used five different pitchers with redshirt sophomore Victor Sanchez taking the loss. Sanchez (4-1) pitched two innings and was charged with four earned runs on five Wolf Pack hits.
Lobos senior right fielder Chase Harris led his team going 3-for-6 with two RBI. This was the first extra-innings loss for the Lobos this season, which came into the tenth inning 4-0 in extended games.
It was the second elimination game win of the day for Nevada after having lost to Fresno State 4-3 on Wednesday.