University of Nevada (15-8, 9-2 MW) second baseman Keaton Smith’s defensive gem on the final play of tonight’s game preserved the Wolf Pack’s 8-7 Mountain West and Governor’s Series victory over intrastate rival UNLV (21-7, 6-5 MW) at Don Weir Field at Peccole Park before a season-high 1,082 fans. With the victory the MW leading Pack improved to 9-2 in conference play and 15-8 overall. The Rebels fell to 6-5 in MW action and 21-7 overall.
Nevada has won four in row which ties the team’s season-high win streak. The Pack has won all four of its MW series this season and the 9-2 conference record is the best after 11 games since joining the conference in 2013.
The final game of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
With Nevada leading 8-6 after eight innings Pack reliever Keone Cabinian came out of the bullpen seeking his fourth save of the season. Cabinian retired the first two hitters of the inning but the next three batters reached base and one scored to close the gap to 8-7. With runners on the corners Smith knocked down Kyle Isbel’s grounder, got to his feet and threw the ball to first baseman Dillan Shrum who made and outstanding stretch to record the final out and preserve the Wolf Pack victory.
Nevada scored a single run in the first inning on a Grant Fennell ground out and exploded for five runs in the third. Fennell drove in three with his bases clearing double and the Pack led 6-1. A single run in the fourth made it 7-1 but UNLV scored five times in the top of the fifth to close within a run at 7-6. The Pack added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double from catcher Kaleb Foster which put Nevada up 8-6 and proved to be the winning run.
Reliever Dalton Gomez (2-1) earned the victory recording an out in the fifth. Cabinian (4) saved his team leading fourth game of the season pitching the ninth. UNLV starter Trevor Horn (2-2) was tagged with the loss allowing six runs in two innings on the mound.
Joshua Zamora (3-for-5,2R) and Foster (3-for-4,2RBI) led the Pack with three hits each as the Pack totaled 12 in the game. Mike Echavia (2-for-3,R,RBI) and Jaylon McLaughlin (2-for-4,2R) added two hits each. Fennell tied his career high with four RBI in the game.
Bryson Stott (3-for-5,2) led the Rebels with three hits. Dillon Johnson (2-for-4,R,2RBI) and Jack-Thomas Wold (2-for-5,2RBI) had two RBI apiece.
Nevada’s 9-2 MW record is the best start in school history after 11 games of MW play.
Nevada has won four in a run which is tied for the high this season.
The Wolf Pack has won all four of its Mountain West series this season.
The Pack has won 10 of its last 12 games.
Nevada is atop the MW standings with a 9-2 mark.
Nevada (9-2) is two and a half games up on San Diego State (6-4) in the MW standings.
Jaylon McLaughlin stole two bases tonight and is a perfect 5-for-5 on the season.
Joshua Zamora is batting .545 in MW play.
Nevada Press Release