|Melero Matches Career-Best In 4-1 Loss To Nevada|
RENO, Nev. - Friday night's starting pitchers dueled for eight innings, but it was Nevada's Braden Shipley who prevailed as the Wolf Pack defeated San Jose State in game one of a Western Athletic Conference series, 4-1, at Peccole Park.
The win put Nevada (28-21, 8-5 WAC) into a tie for first place with Hawai'I, as the Spartans (21-23, 5-8 WAC) stayed three games out of first in the conference.
Shipley (8-3) outdueled the Spartans' Johnny Melero (2-6) by allowing just one run and scattering six hits with three strikeouts in his first career complete game. Melero allowed four runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts and no walks in eight innings. Melero matched his career-long outing of eight innings, which he also threw this season against Lehigh on March 8.
SECOND INNING FULL OF ACTION
Matt Lopez led off the top of the second with a double to give himself base hits in 14 of his last 16 games. Though Lopez would be thrown out at third on a sacrifice bunt, the Spartans would get the first run of the game and take a 1-0 lead on a two-out RBI single by Ricky Acosta. Michael Gerlach moved to second on another sacrifice after reaching on a fielder's choice when Lopez was thrown out, and Acosta drove him in.
Nevada answered and took the lead in the bottom half of the second with an RBI ground rule double by Brooks Klein and a two-out RBI single by Kyle Hunt. It was the 11th time in the last 12 games the Spartans have allowed the game to be tied or lost the lead after going ahead in the first three innings.
Melero and Shipley settled into a pitcher's duel after that second inning. Shipley threw seven scoreless innings following the second and Melero threw four straight before giving up a run in the bottom of the seventh. They scattered eight total hits and combined for five strikeouts.
Melero ran into some trouble in the latter half of his outing, giving up five of the 11 hits he surrendered in the game after the sixth inning. Four of those five hits were for extra bases, as the Wolf Pack tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh and eighth inning to secure the victory.
Andre Mercurio extended his hitting streak to five games with a first-inning single. He finished the game with a team-leading 2-for-4 performance. Kewby Meyer and Brooks Klein had three hits each for Nevada. Klein also scored twice and drove in a run. Kyle Hunt went 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Wolf Pack.
Four of Nevada's 11 hits came with two-outs in the inning. San Jose State got the leadoff batter on base four times Friday, but scored only once in those innings. The team would strand six runners to Nevada's three. San Jose State also grounded into three double plays Friday, including one by Kyle Gallegos in the ninth inning to end the game.
The series resumes Saturday with game two at 1 p.m. The Spartans' David Wayne Russo and Nevada's Tom Jameson are the game's probable starting pitchers.
Nevada 4, San Jose State 1 (May 11, 2012 at Reno, Nevada)