Gauchos Downed By Nevada in First Game of Weekend Series

Peter Maris (by Tony Mastres)
Peter Maris (by Tony Mastres)

RENO – Nevada used an 11-run sixth inning to rip open a close game in the opener of a three-game series at Nevada and defeat UC Santa Barbara, 12-2, on Friday afternoon.

Nevada trailed 2-1 entering the sixth. The outlook of the game would change dramatically in the biggest inning of the season for the Wolf Pack.

On the 10th pitch of his first at bat in the inning, Austin Byler tied the game at two with a single into right field to score Kyle Hunt with no one out. After Byler's RBI-single, Brooks Klein put a ball back up the middle to load the bases and knock UCSB starter Austin Pettibone out of the game.

With the bases loaded, reliever Cameron Cunio threw a wild pitch that allowed Brett Jones to score from third and put Nevada ahead 3-2. After Cunio walked Kewby Meyer to load the bases again, he was relieved by Jeremy Peterson. Peterson could not improve on the work of the previous UCSB pitchers, walking Garrett Yrigoyen to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Pack.

A bases-clearing triple from Carlos Escobar Jr. followed, breaking the game open and putting Nevada up 7-2. After another double-digit pitch at bat by Jay Anderson resulted in a single to right to score Escobar, Nevada led 8-2, and still wasn't done scoring.

A bunt single from Hunt, followed by a single to right by Jones made the score 9-2 Pack. Byler's second hit in the inning was his third home run of the season, as he blasted the first pitch he saw from reliever Jared Wilson over the right field fence to make the score 12-2 Nevada.

The Gauchos actually jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBI hits by Joey Wallace and Greg Mahle. The freshman Mahle collected two of the Gauchos' five hits.

Freshman Austin Pettibone, making his first Friday start, went five innings, allowing eight hits and five earned runs. Jeremy Peterson allowed five earned runs on four hits in 0.1 of an inning.

UCSB will face Nevada on Saturday at 1 p.m. and then again at the same time on Sunday. UCSB returns home for a Throwback Tuesday game vs. Fresno State on March 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 893-UCSB or clicking here. The game will be broadcast live online by clicking here.