The Dirtbags’ Santino Rivera didn’t seem bothered by the moment. His pinch hit at bat came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and the Dirtbags down 1-0. He worked the count to 2-2 before taking strike three low as the Dirtbags lost a game with the bases loaded for the second night in a row.
The Dirtbags have not scored a run in their last 25 innings.
“We have a long way to go there’s no question,” head coach Troy Buckley said.
Dirtbags starting pitcher Matt Fields struggled to find the zone all night. After hitting and walking a batter, he faced Nevada’s best hitter, Joshua Zamora, with runners on second and third in the second inning. Zamora fouled out to first, ending the inning.
“I guess one positive is we pitched out of jams tonight, which we haven’t done at all [this season],” Buckley said.
Fields was working his best inning before a two-out single in the fourth. Nevada’s Keaton Smith then lined a single into center and advanced to second on an ill-advised throw to third by freshman center fielder Connor Kokx. Fields hit Zamora with the pitch loading the bases and was relieved by left hander Adam Seminaris, who recorded a strikeout to end the threat.
Fields threw 3.2 innings, struck out three, walked two, hit two batters, threw a wild pitch and allowed four hits.
“I thought he grinded, he did a nice job pitching out of trouble,” Buckley said.
Nevada’s winning pitcher Ryan Anderson pitched seven innings without allowing a hit. His 11 strikeouts was a new career-high.
“Anderson was effective, I’m not sure how but he certainly was effective,” Buckley said.
The Wolf Pack jumped on the Dirtbags in the sixth with two singles. Seminaris then balked the runners to second and third. Valenzuela singled to left scoring the game’s only run.
“They’re gonna need to debrief, stay together, get a good night’s sleep and baseball’s a beautiful deal because you get another one tomorrow,” Buckley said.
The Dirtbags try again 6 p.m. Saturday in the second game of the series on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. John Sheaks will get the start in his return from Tommy John Surgery.