RENO, Nev. — Jeremy Rodriguez went a perfect 4-for-4 and was instrumental in giving the CSUB baseball team a two-run lead in the top of the ninth, but the University of Nevada rallied for three runs in the final half inning to take a 7-6 win Friday night at Peccole Park.
Aaron Henry’s RBI single to left field sent Shaun Kort across home plate for the game-winner. Kort had reached on a two-RBI single to left just two batters prior, sending Matt Bowman and Kevin Rodland home to knot the score at 6-6.
Nevada (19-20) struck early as Bowman led off the bottom of the first with a triple to center. With one out, a sacrifice fly to left by Kort scored Bowman. After giving up a single up the middle to Tyson Jaquez, Bakersfield starter Martin Medina caught Nick Melino on a strikeout looking to end the inning.
The bottom of the order came through in the top of the second when Rodriguez knocked a two-out single up the middle and scored on a Kyle Richardson double to right-center. Richard Escalera then singled through the left side, plating Richardson and giving Bakersfield a 2-1 lead before the Wolf Pack recorded the third out on a ground out by JJ Henry.
Medina ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the fourth, giving up a walk to Kort to open the inning. Kort then advanced to second on a balk and to third on a ground out. After another walk to put runners on the corners, Brett Hart sent a sacrifice fly into right field, sending Kort home, tying the game 2-2.
The Roadrunners (8-27) worked their way out of another jam in the bottom of the sixth, holding Nevada scoreless with three left on base. After a leadoff strikeout, Medina gave up back-to-back singles, then walked Bowman to load the bases. No Wolf Pack runner scored, however, as Henry caught a line drive at third and Kort flied out to Jason Kudlock in left field.
A solo home run by Tyson Jaquez to lead off the sixth gave Nevada a brief 3-2 advantage, but the Roadrunners rallied in the top of the seventh as Ryan McIntyre led off with a single to shallow left, advanced to second on a single through the left side and scored on a double down the right field line by Escalera. After Nevada made a pitching change, replacing starter Brock Stassi with reliever Tyler Graham, Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch, putting Bakersfield back ahead, 4-3.
The Wolf Pack used another solo homer, this time by Hart in the bottom of the eighth, to force the second tie of the game, 4-4. Bakersfield responded yet again, scoring a pair of runs on an RBI triple by Rodriguez and a wild pitch.
Stassi struck out four while giving up seven hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings of work for the Wolf Pack. Graham (2-2) fanned six while allowing three hits for two runs in the final 2 2/3 innings.
Medina was replaced by Sam Jones in the seventh inning after striking out five, walking four and scattering six hits for three runs. Jones struck out two, walked one and allowed just one hit for one run in two innings of work. Spenser Messmore (1-2) took the loss for CSUB after giving up five hits for three runs in the ninth inning.
The series continues with game-two Saturday at 1 p.m. at Peccole Park.
Score by Innings R H E
CSU Bakersfield..... 020 000 202 - 6 10 0
Nevada.............. 100 101 013 - 7 12 0
Note: 1 out, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.
Win - Graham, T. (2-2). Loss - Messmore (1-2). Save - None.
LOB - CSUB 3; Nevada 9. 2B - McIntyre(9); Richardson 2(9); Escalera(2). 3B - Rodriguez(1); Bowman, M.(3). HR - Jaquez, T.(4); Hart, B.(3). SF - Kort, S.(2); Hart, B.(2). SB - Kohan, J.(1). CS - Richardson(3); Melino, N.(2).