RENO, Nev. — Adam Gunn pitched seven strong innings and Jake Rickenbach hit a two-run home run as Utah Valley University topped the University of Nevada, 6-1, on Sunday afternoon at Peccole Park.
Gunn gave up just one unearned run while striking out five without allowing a walk to earn his first win in a Wolverine uniform. Preston Olson pitched a perfect eighth and ninth to earn his first save.
“We had a lot better energy today and Adam really set the tempo with the way he was throwing,” head coach Eric Madsen said. “We got back to the basics offensively and defensively made some good plays. We still need to find a way to get the big hits but today was a lot better than it was yesterday.”
Gunn was perfect in his first three innings — including striking out the side in the first — before Rickenbach’s two-out, two-run home run to left gave the Wolverines (2-5) their first lead of the series in the top of the fourth.
Nevada (5-2) got a pair of hits in the bottom of the fourth, on a bunt single and an infield single, but Gunn escaped the jam by getting Carlos Escobar Jr. to ground out and Austin Byler to fly out to end the inning.
The score remained 2-0 until the seventh when UVU's Alex Exon singled with the bases full to score Willie Pratt and give Utah Valley a 3-0 lead.
The Wolfpack would get their lone run in the bottom of the seventh on Kewby Meyer’s RBI single. However, Gunn was able to wiggle out of any more trouble when, with runners on the corners and one out, the UVU starter got consecutive pop-outs to end the frame and his solid seven-inning performance.
Utah Valley took advantage of nine walks by Nevada pitchers, including three in the ninth that helped add the final trio of insurance runs. Goose Kallunki had an RBI single in the ninth with Cole Butcher bringing home a run when he walked with the bases loaded. Jordy Hart reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Kallunki for the final run.
Rickenbach, Sean Moysh, Kai Hatch and Exon each had two hits for Utah Valley while Brett Jones had two of the four hits for the Wolfpack.
The win avoided a sweep against Nevada and snapped a four-game skid for the Wolverines. UVU plays at national power Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series starting Friday at 8 p.m. in a contest that can be heard live on 960 AM the Zone.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com