The Nevada Wolf Pack baseball team let one slip away Monday.
The Wolf Pack wasted a six-run lead with just six outs to go in a stunning 9-8 loss to the San Diego Toreros in front of a crowd of 430 at Fowler Park in San Diego. The Toreros, which had just lost three consecutive West Coast Conference games to San Francisco this weekend at home, scored six runs in the eighth and one in the ninth to hand the Wolf Pack its 10th loss of the season.
The Wolf Pack, now 31-10, saw its four-game winning streak come to an end. The loss was also the Pack’s first this season in 29 games (28-1) when leading after eight innings. The Pack, which leads the Mountain West with a 16-5 record, has now lost three of its last four non-conference games.
The Toreros did most of its late-inning damage against Wolf Pack closer Adam Whitt. Whitt, who entered the game with a 0.99 earned run average, allowed five hits and three runs in just two-thirds of an inning and saw his ERA balloon to 1.93. Trenton Brooks, who faced just one hitter, suffered the loss (2-1) but it was Whitt who came back to the mound (from right field) to surrender Jesse Jenner’s game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth.
The Toreros roughed up Pack relievers Cameron Rowland and Whitt in the eighth, scoring six runs to tie the game at 8-8. Rowland had been brilliant, entering the game with two outs in the fourth inning retiring 10 hitters in a row at one point. Rowland, though, protecting an 8-2 lead, surrendered a lead off double to Bryson Brigman and home runs by Kyle Holder and Jenner in the eighth. The home runs were just the second of the year for both Holder and Jenner.
Whitt then came on and promptly allowed singles to Jerod Smith, Riley Adams and Ryan Kirby to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Ben Wylly then tagged Whitt for a bases-clearing double, evening the game at 8-8.
Whitt allowed three earned runs in a game for the first time since May 16 2014 against UNLV.
San Diego won the game in the ninth on a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt. Holder, who is hitting .379 this year, singled off Brooks and Colton Waltner bunted him to second. Jenner followed with his game-winning single.
The Wolf Pack dominated the first seven innings.
The Pack scored twice off San Diego starter Jacob Hill in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Kewby Meyer walked and later scored on an error by Hill for a 1-0 lead. Jordan Devencenzi also bunted home Bryce Greager in the inning.
The Toreros evened the game with two runs (one earned) off JoJo Romero in the second inning. Romero, making his first start of the year after 16 relief appearances, threw just 20 pitches and allowed three hits in 1.2 innings. Sam Held pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Romero for his first scoreless outing of two innings or longer since Feb. 17 at Texas Tech.
The Pack took a 5-2 lead with three runs in the third. Ryan Teel singled home two runs and Greager had a RBI single off Hill. Hill, whose twin brother David is also a Torero pitcher, allowed five runs (four earned) and four walks in 2.2 innings despite allowing just one hit.
The Pack then seemingly took control of the game with two runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth off San Diego relievers Taylor Kaczmarek and Jonathan Teaney.
Teel drove in a run with a single in the fifth and Devencenzi was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth. Teel, now hitting .276, has played in the Pack’s last five games and has gone 7-for-16. He was just 1-for-13 in just 10 games during his latest hot streak. He drove in three runs on Monday for the first time in a game since May 15, 2014 against UNLV.
Reliever Daniel Reitzler made the Toreros’ comeback possible with three standout innings of work. Reitzler, who now has an ERA of 1.31 in 12 games, did not allow a hit or a walk while striking out four in three innings.
The Pack is now 8-4 in one-run games this season.