This time late-inning heroics were not needed.
The Wolf Pack rolled to its sixth victory in a row on Friday, beating the Cincinnati Bearcats in front of a crowd of 930 at Peccole Park. The Pack, which scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Bearcats 11-10 on Thursday, can complete a four-game series sweep on Saturday (1 p.m.).
The Pack is now 19-4 overall this season and 12-1 at Peccole Park. It is the Pack’s best start after 13 home games since the 1993 team also started 12-1 at Peccole. The 1992 team holds the unbreakable record of going 27-0 at home for the entire season. Cincinnati fell to 6-14 on the year.
The Wolf Pack led the entire game on Friday, scoring runs in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead for starter Jason Deitrich. Bryce Greager, who had two hits to raise his average to .283, drove home Austin Byler in the first for a 1-0 lead. Kyle Hunt singled home Jordan Devencenzi in the second for a 2-0 lead.
The Pack upped its lead to 4-1 in the fourth with a pair of runs on a squeeze bunt by Hunt. Hunt’s bunt scored Grant Fennell from third and Devencenzi from second. Hunt, the Pack’s No. 9 hitter, drove in three runs and now has 11 RBI this season. He also had two hits to up his average to .230.
The Pack added three runs in the eighth off Cincinnati reliever Nick Voss to take a 7-3 lead. Devencenzi singled and later scored on a wild pitch to give the Pack a 5-3 lead. Ryan Howell singled in Cal Stevenson for a 6-3 lead and Trenton Brook’s ground out to first scored Byler to make it 7-3.
Deitrich turned in another solid outing, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings. Deitrich, who now has an ERA of 2.17 in six starts, earned the win to improve to 4-1 on the year. Cincinnati’s Ryan Noda hit a two-run homer off Deitrich in the fifth to cut the Pack lead to 4-3. It was Deitrich’s fourth consecutive start where he allowed three or fewer runs in six or more innings.
JoJo Romero was even stingier in relief for the Pack. Romero gave up just one hit and an unearned run in three innings of work to record his first save of the season. Romero also struck out four and didn’t walk a hitter.
Cincinnati starter Dalton Lehnen went seven innings and allowed eight hits and four runs. Lehnen was tagged with the loss and is now 1-4 this season.
Byler hit leadoff for just the second time this season (and in his career) and went 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Howell had two hits to lift his average to .405. Devencenzi scored three runs and had two hits and is now hitting .280.
The Wolf Pack has winning streaks this year of five, six and seven games. The Wolf Pack has now also won all six of its series this season. A win on Saturday will give the Pack its fourth series sweep of the year.