The Nevada Wolf Pack left no doubt this weekend about which baseball team is the best of the Mountain West.
The Wolf Pack clouted three home runs on Sunday to clobber the San Diego State Aztecs 16-4 at Tony Gwynn Stadium and complete an impressive three-game Mountain West series sweep. The Wolf Pack, which outscored the Aztecs 38-12 in the series, now leads the conference by two games with nine to play.
The Pack, which has now won four games in a row, is in first place with a 16-5 conference record (31-9 overall) with the Aztecs in second place at 14-7 (27-14 overall). New Mexico is close behind in third at 13-8 followed by Fresno State (10-8), Air Force (10-11), UNLV (3-15) and San Jose State (3-15). The Wolf Pack, which will host the conference tournament at Peccole Park in late May, has three-game Mountain West series remaining against San Jose State, Mew Mexico and Air Force.
The Pack has now swept six series this year of three games or longer. They have outscored the opposition 54-16 in their current four-game winning streak, scoring 14 or more runs in the game three times.
The last time the Aztecs were swept in a three-game series at home was May 16-18, 2013 against New Mexico. The Aztecs, which went 24-5 at home last year, are now 1-5 in their last six home games.
The Pack didn’t let the Aztecs up for air on Sunday, scoring four runs in the first inning, five in the fourth and six in the fifth. The long ball was the key in all three of those huge innings.
Kewby Meyer got the Pack party started with a three-run homer in the first. Meyer, who now has three homers this season, had four RBI and is now hitting .339 this year with 36 RBI. His 58 hits leads the Mountain West with Air Force’s Adam Groesbeck.
Austin Byler drilled a grand slam in the fourth inning to break the game open. Byler now has 10 homers and 39 RBI on the year and is hitting .341. A two-run homer by Ryan Howell keyed the fifth inning. Howell now leads the Mountain West with 12 home runs and 52 RBI. He is also tied with Byler for first in the conference with a .711 slugging percentage. Byler also leads the Mountain West, among other categories, with a .540 on base percentage as well as 51 runs scored.
The Pack pounded out 19 hits on Sunday and handed Aztecs starter Marcus Reyes just his second loss of the year (5-2). Reyes allowed eight hits and eight runs in just 3.1 innings. San Diego State reliever Brett Seeburger allowed five runs and five hits in just one inning. Seeburger made two appearances in the series and allowed 11 hits and 11 runs in just 2.2 innings.
Cal Stevenson, who is second in the Mountain West in hitting at .378, had three hits and scored three runs. Bryce Greager had two hits and scored two runs. Grant Fennell and Kyle Hunt each had two hits. Both of Hunts hits were RBI doubles. Fennell doubled in a run in the first inning.
Christian Stolo cruised to his fourth win (4-1) of the year. Stolo went seven innings and allowed just four hits and two runs.
A big key to the series sweep — other than the explosive Pack bats, that is — was the way the Pack pitching staff handled the Aztecs top three hitters. The Wolf Pack held Chase Calabuig, Ty France and Steven Pallares, who were all hitting .350 or higher coming into the series, to a combined 4-for-33 (.121). Calabuig, who went 2-for-12, still leads the Mountain West in hitting at .392 despite his rough weekend. France is at .342 and Pallares is at .346.
The Wolf Pack is now 14-7 way from Peccole Park this year and has now won six games in a row against San Diego State. They swept the Aztecs in a three-game series last season at Peccole Park.