Eight, apparently, was indeed enough for the Nevada Wolf Pack baseball team.
The Pack saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end Friday at San Jose State with a 5-4 loss to the Spartans in front of a crowd of 423 at Municipal Stadium. Wolf Pack closer Adam Whitt hit San Jose State’s Michael Breen with a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Wolf Pack, which led 4-3 after six innings, fell to 21-5 overall and 7-3 in the Mountain West. The loss dropped the Wolf Pack into second place in the Mountain West behind San Diego State (20-6, 8-2), which beat UNLV 7-5 on Friday. The Pack is a game ahead of both Fresno State (15-12, 6-4) and New Mexico (13-10, 6-4).
Whitt suffered his first loss of the season to fall to 1-1. The junior allowed two hits and the unearned run in the ninth inning and also walked one and hit one.
San Jose State took a quick 3-0 lead with three runs in the first inning off Pack starter Jason Deitrich. Two of the runs, though, were unearned thanks to an error by Pack third baseman Bryce Greager. The Spartans’ Brett Bautista and David Campbell also had run-scoring singles in the inning.
Deitrich lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing seven hits and the three runs (one earned).
JoJo Romero was outstanding in relief for the Pack. Romero went three innings and allowed just three hits and a run while striking out four and was in line to pick up the victory heading into the seventh inning.
The Pack scored two runs in the second inning and two more in the fifth off San Jose State starter Hilario Tovar to take a 4-3 lead. Kewby Meyer tripled in Trenton Brooks and Greager singled in Meyer as the Pack cut the Spartans lead to 3-2 in the second inning. Cal Stevenson tripled and Austin Byler brought him home with a single to tie the game at 3-3 in the fifth. The Pack later took the lead in the inning as Byler scored on a sacrifice fly by Meyer. An error by Spartans’ shortstop Kyle Morrison, allowing Byler to get to third, made the second run in the inning unearned.
San Jose State, though, evened the score at 4-4 in the seventh. Romero hit Andre Mercurio with a pitch to start the inning. A single by Ozzy Braff and a walk to Chris Williams later loaded the bases. Whitt then relieved Romero and allowed a RBI single to Shane Timmons.
The Spartans then won the game in the bottom of the ninth. Brett Bautistia opened the inning with a single off Whitt. Whitt, though, got Braff to fly to right for the first out of the inning. Whitt and right fielder Trenton Brooks then switched places. Williams, though, then reached on a two-base error by Pack shortstop Kyle Hunt to put runners on second and third. Brooks intentionally walked Timmons to load the bases. Whitt and Brooks then traded places again but Whitt hit Breen to end the game.
Josh Nashed earned the victory for the Spartans and is now 3-2 this season. Nashed shut down the Pack offense over the last 4.2 innings, allowing no runs or walks on just two hits while striking out six.
The Spartans outhit the Pack 12-8. No Pack player had more than one hit in the game. Bautista was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI for the Spartans. Timmons and Dillan Smith also had two hits each for the Spartans.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Pack against San Jose State. The Spartans also beat Deitrich and the Pack (2-1) in the first game of a three-game series last year at San Jose State. The Pack, though, came back to win the next two games (6-5 and 7-4) to win the series.