The Hustlin’ Rebels continued its winning ways Thursday night, defeating its in-state rivals, the Nevada Wolf Pack, by a final score of 7-1 making its overall record 11-16 and its Mountain West Conference record 6-7 on April 6.
This would be the Rebels’ third consecutive win and fourth in five games after taking down the Air Force Academy Falcons and the Grand Canyon University Lopes.
With these wins in hand, the Rebels have started to turn its season around in its regular season schedule and the battle within the Mountain West Conference.
Thursday’s game featured a pitching matchup between the Rebels’ right-hander Noah Carabajal 0-3 and the Wolf Packs’ right-handed Peyton Stumbo 2-2.
This would be Carabajal’s second start of the season, after recently coming off of a loss in his first start against the Arizona State Sun Devils despite pitching five scoreless innings before he would eventually give up six runs in the sixth inning.
On the other side of the baseball, Stumbo had been heavily relied upon by the Wolf Pack early on, starting in his fourth game of the season.
The Hustlin’ Rebels were just coming off a win against the Grand Canyon University Lopes in a bullpen game that set the tone for the entire slate of games on its homestand.
However, this would prove costly as most relievers utilized in that game would not be available on short rest for game one of the Silver State Series.
It was up to Carabajal to hold down most of the game for the Rebels and for the lineup to provide some much-needed offense.
The Wolf Pack starter, Stumbo, was coming off an accredited loss in a relief appearance to the San Jose State Spartans, tallying a whopping 27.00 ERA. He looked to find his confidence in the start against the Rebels.
The Wolf Pack also wanted to find its stride again in the young season after coming off a series loss against the San Jose State University Spartans and winning only one of its last five matchups.
The game began at a breakneck pace as Carabajal moved quickly through the first four batters of the Reno order, only throwing 11 pitches while recording a walk and a strikeout.
In the bottom half of the inning, much of the same would be seen from Wolf Pack starter Stumbo as he set down the UNLV order one-two-three to rival Carabajal’s pace, throwing only nine pitches to the top of the order.
In the second inning of the game, it was clear that Carabajal had settled into the starter role as he took command of the strike zone early, finding himself out of the inning just as quickly as the first, seeing only four batters.
The second opportunity at the plate for the Hustlin’ Rebels would bring across the first runs of the ball game as, once again, the Rebels pulled out to an early lead.
It started with two straight baserunners from an infield error by the shortstop Mason Hirata on a batted ball by Edarian Willams to a line drive into the right field by Kade Higgins.
During the first pitch to the third batter of the inning, Alex Pimentel was put in play again to the left side of the infield for what looked like a sure double play to limit the damage against the Wolf Pack.
This, however, would not be the case as another error was made on the throw to second by the Wolf Pack third baseman Jesse Pierce as the ball sailed into right field, allowing Williams to score from second base.
With one run already across the board and two errors on the scoresheet for the Wolf Pack, things only continued to get worse as a bunt attempt by Braden Murphy could not be handled by Stumbo, resulting in a bases-loaded opportunity for Paul Myro.
Myro would make the most of this chance by smashing a line drive into the left-center field gap scoring two more runs to make the score 3-0 in the Rebels’ favor.
While the Wolf Pack lineup tried to find ways to get on base, Carabajal would not be denied on the mound as he continued working quickly through the lineup and faced little resistance.
The Wolf Pack’s woes only continued in the fourth inning as Kade Higgins tallied his second hit of the ballgame on a deep home run to left field, extending the Rebel lead to 4-0.
Finally, in the top half of the fifth inning, the Wolf Pack’s bottom half of the lineup would get itself on the board off base knocks from the eight and nine-hole batters Jeff Bauser and Mason Hirata.
Despite this effort, it found no success after this inning, as Carabajal would throw seven innings of four-hit baseball while recording nine strikeouts.
To ensure the win, the Rebels would score one run in the sixth inning off of a two-out rally and two more runs in the eighth to put up a final score of 7-1.
With this win, the Rebels propelled forward to a record of 11-16 while Carabajal recorded his first win, and the Nevada Wolf Pack would drop to a record of 12-16 while only winning one of its last six games.