With a week off from Mountain West play, the Wolf Pack travels to California to tangle with the Spartans

By Eric Uribe and Chris Boline

It’s about to be a very busy week for the Wolf Pack. Nevada plays five games in six days, starting with a doubleheader today against Grand Canyon and the Reno Aces, then a weekend series against San Jose State.

And now is the time for the Wolf Pack (12-12, 6-6 Mountain West) to start building momentum. The MWC is rooted with talent, but Nevada remains in the thick of the conference race, in a fourth-place tie with Fresno State. The Wolf Pack trail MWC-leading UNLV by three full games. Nevada has six conference series to make its move.


Nevada’s 4-3 ten-inning loss on the road to UC Davis last Tuesday was all too familiar for the Wolf Pack. As per usual, Nevada’s offense lacked firepower. The Wolf Pack belted nine hits, but left 11 runners stranded on base. In spite of the struggles, Nevada jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning.

Wolf Pack starting pitcher Jason Dietrich tossed six solid innings, surrendering a mere four hits and one earned run. However, his efforts went to waste after a two-run outing by the Aggies in the eighth knotted the game up. The Aggies capped their comeback bid after a Kyle Hunt error in extra innings.

The extra-inning loss was the Wolf Pack’s third in as many tries this season. Nevada has struggled immensely away from Peccole Park with an abysmal 5-10 record. That doesn’t fare well for them with a pivotal road series against San Jose State on the horizon.


Sitting with a .500 record in conference play (6-6), Nevada is still searching for some pivotal momentum in Mountain West play.

This could come this week against San Jose State on the road. The Spartans are currently the proverbial runt of the Mountain West litter, with a record of 4-8 in conference play and 8-21 record overall. What’s more is that San Jose State has struggled as much as they have at home (5-12) as they have away from San Jose Mu n i c i p a l Stadium.

However, not all is lost for the Spartans as they do feature some potency in their line-up. Some of the heavy hitters (no pun intended) for San Jose State are a trio of seniors: Jacob Valdez, who leads the team in batting average (.311); Matt Carroll, who is the leader in home runs (three) and slugging percentage (.358) and finally, Matt Lopez (17 RBI’s and 15 runs). The starting pitchers for the Spartans are less solid with a combined a 5.52 ERA and of course, a winning percentage of .381.

Even though San Jose State has struggled on the season, it should not be overlooked. Already, the Spartans have managed to defeat top 25 UC Santa Barbara and Mountain West leader UNLV. Nevada needs multiple victories here to make up lost ground in the Mountain West race.

Chris Boline and Eric Uribe can be reached at cboline@sagebrush.unr.edu.