No. 3 Nevada Run-Rules No. 1 Fresno State to Avoid Elimination, Again
Courtesy of Chelsey Chamberlain, UNM Athletics
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The three-seeded Nevada baseball team (36-22) tallied a Mountain West tournament record of 27 hits to run-rule No. 1 Fresno State (36-22) 25-6 in eight innings on Friday afternoon at Santa Ana Star Field, on the campus of the University of New Mexico.
The victory was Nevada’s second elimination win on the day, and the Wolf Pack will advance to Saturday’s 2016 Mountain West Championship action against the loser of tonight’s New Mexico-Air Force game at 1 p.m. MT.
Nevada’s 25 runs tied for second most runs in a Mountain West tournament game. The Wolf Pack offense got going in the second inning after giving up two runs to the Bulldogs in the first. They scored seven runs off eight hits which included a leadoff home run by junior Trenton Brooks.
“I thought we did a good job,” said Nevada head coach T.J. Bruce. “We faced a heck of a team. We didn’t chase pitches and did some damage on the fast balls.”
The Wolf Pack continued their offensive surge into the second with two runs. They extended their lead to 13-6 in the seventh and used a 12-run eighth to finish off the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs’ offense slowed down a bit after the two-run first inning. They did score one in the second, one in the fourth and two in the fifth but were scoreless the rest of the way due to Nevada relievers Evan McMahan and Anthony Martine. McMahan earned the win after starter Sam Held threw the first four and two-thirds.
Nine Nevada players had at least two hits. The surge was led by junior Justin Bridgman and sophomore Jordan Pearce, who each went 5-for-6. Bridgman finished with four RBIs while TJ Friedl had a team-high five RBIs. For Fresno State, Jake Stone and Austin Guibor each went 3-for-4.
“Every game, we pitch and play defense,” said Bridgman. “I think if we can play defense and minimize mistakes we will do well. Offense will come.”
Junior right-hander Jimmy Lambert was charged with the loss for the Bulldogs. He is 10-2 on the season after allowing nine runs on 11 hits.
Live streaming of the 2016 MW Baseball Championship is available through the Mountain West Network (MWN) on TheMW.com and CampusInsiders.com. All live broadcasts are free of charge. Paul Loeffler, Robert Portnoy, Don Marchand and Chris Ello will call the games from Santa Ana Star Field. David Lombardi returns to the MWN broadcast team to provide color analysis and in-game features for a fourth consecutive season.
In addition, fans can watch live video on their mobile devices for free with the MW mobile app. Links to live stats, game highlights, recaps and box scores will also be available on the Mountain West Championship Central page on TheMW.com. The Mountain West application can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, and from Google Play for Android phones and tablets. Broadcasts are also available on the Campus Insiders app and Verizon customers can watch on the go90 app.
Fans also can follow the Championship through the league’s social media channels on Twitter (@MW_OlySports), Snapchat (https://www.snapchat.com/add/mountainwest), YouTube (MountainWestConf), Facebook (MountainWestConference), and Instagram (MountainWestConference) for updates on each game. Followers are encouraged to use the hashtag #MWBSB16 when posting throughout the championship.