The Nevada Wolf Pack’s comeback fell a run short Tuesday in a 7-6 loss to the Sacramento State Hornets at Peccole Park.
Sacramento State, now 27-18, scored five times in the third inning to take a 7-3 lead. The Wolf Pack fought back to trail just 7-6 in the ninth with the tying run on second but Ryan Teel flew out to right field to end the game.
The Pack, now 22-22, will return to Mountain West action this Friday night (6 p.m.) against San Diego State at Peccole Park.
A three-run second inning gave the Pack a 3-2 lead. Brooks Klein hit the first of his two home runs, a two-run shot, to tie the game at 2-2. Teel was hit by a pitch and later scored the go-ahead run on a Hornet error.
The Pack, which left 10 runners on base (the Hornets left just four), caught a break in the fourth inning. Brad Gerig doubled and went to third on a passed ball. Gerig then scored with two outs as Jamison Rowe struck out on a wild pitch to cut the Sacramento State lead to 7-4.
Klein’s second home run of the game cut the Sacramento State lead to just 7-5 in the seventh inning. Klein has been red hot as of late, going 8-for-17 with nine RBI and three home runs over his last four games. The senior outfielder now has six home runs and 37 RBI on the year. Klein also leads the team with 19 multiple-hit games and a dozen multiple-RBI games.
The Wolf Pack almost caught the Hornets in the bottom of the ninth after two were out. Hugo Hernandez, who had three hits and now leads the Pack with a .397 average, walked with two outs to start the rally. Klein also walked off Hornets’ closer Sutter McLoughlin to put the tying runs on base.
Brett Jones followed with a RBI single, scoring pinch-runner Jay Anderson and moving Klein to second as the Pack trailed just 7-6. Teel, though, few out to right on an 0-1 pitch to end the game as McLoughlin recorded his 13th save.
Gerig also had three hits to lift his average to .253.
Sacramento State, which beat the Pack 4-1 on Feb. 26 in Sacramento, got a pair of homers in the victory on Tuesday. Justin Higley hit his 10th home run of the year in the first inning and Andrew Ayers hit a grand slam in the five-run third. Ayers now has six homers this year.
The Wolf Pack used nine pitchers in the loss. Michael Bradshaw started and allowed four runs on three hits in 2.1 innings to suffer the loss (1-1). None of the other eight Pack pitchers lasted more than an inning. Brent McMinn, Mark Reece, Colby Blueberg, Adam Whitt, Sean Prihar and Michael Fain each pitched an inning and combined to shut out the Hornets over the final six innings.