By Eric Uribe

With basketball season in the books, Nevada diehards shift their focus to the Wolf Pack’s other “big three” sport: baseball. The Wolf Pack has jumped out to a 12-11 (6-6 Mountain West) start and is fresh off a three-game sweep of Air Force. Forget that the Falcons have lost 12 straight games. Forget that Air Force has scored an abysmal 30 runs during that stretch. The impressive feat of the sweep is that it was the Wolf Pack’s first in its two years in the conference.

After the sweep, Nevada is above the .500 mark for the first time since the third game of the season. The Wolf Pack currently stands fifth in the seven-team conference. The team won’t have another conference series until April 4 at San Jose State. In between then, Nevada will have tune ups against UC Davis, Grand Canyon and Reno’s own Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While two-fifths of the season is in the books, Nevada has 18 conference games left to make a splash in head coach Jay Johnson’s first season at the helm.


Before the season, Johnson stressed a one-game-at-a-time approach with lineups changing based on individual game matchups. Thus far, Johnson has followed up on his promise with 26 of the squad’s 30 players seeing playing time this season. However, the team’s leaders remain clear. Outfielder Kewby Meyer is carving his name in the program record books. Meyer is batting a team-leading .330 this season. The junior has rung in 10 doubles and 13 RBIs. Meyer has been a constant force in his Nevada tenure with a career .317 batting average.

Entering the season, the go-to slugger role was designated for Austin Byler. The sophomore has lived up to the lofty expectations with a team-leading .506 slugging percentage. Byler has belted 17 RBIs and 11 extra-base hits — both team highs.

Catcher Jordan Devencenzi has burst onto the season in his first year with the Wolf Pack. The Delta College transfer is batting .317, second to only Meyer. Devencenzi entered with a defensive-minded reputation, but has proved his own at the plate with a team-best base percentage of .398. But here’s an oddball stat: Devencenzi has been hit by a pitch a MWC-high nine times this season. Here’s to hoping Devencenzi doesn’t get fed up and charge the mound a la Robin Ventura against Nolan Ryan.

However, as a whole, Nevada’s bats have been quiet for the most part throughout the season. Among the MWC, the Wolf Pack ranks second to last in hits (191) and third to last in runs scored (109), and has a batting average of .255, a slugging percentage of .355 and on-base percentage of .342.


So far, the MWC has proven to be a pitcher-friendly league. Five teams have earned run averages south of four, with two of them being under three runs. The Wolf Pack is one of those five with an ERA of 3.86. Opposing batters are hitting a mere .258 against Nevada — third best in the conference.

The Wolf Pack is getting the job done with a four-man pitching rotation. All four are in the league’s top 20 in ERA with Michael Fain (2.25) being the ace and Jason Deitrich (3.47), Barry Timko (4.08) and Tyler Wells (4.76) all not too far behind.

Eric Uribe can be reached at euribe@