The Nevada Wolf Pack couldn't have picked a worse time to allow its first home run of the season.
Sacramento State's Brandon Hunley hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie and beat the Wolf Pack 7-4 on Tuesday at Sacramento's Raley Field. The loss is the sixth in a row for the Wolf Pack (2-6) after two victories in an opening day double header.
Hunley's home run is the first home run hit in a Wolf Pack game this season. The Wolf Pack has no home runs in 271 at bats this year while Wolf Pack opponents have one in 264.
The home run came off Pack reliever Adam Whitt. Whitt gave up three hits and a walk and four runs in 1.1 innings and suffered the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season. Alex Palsha, who allowed one unearned run in two innings, was credited with the victory (1-0).
Whitt took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth. The Wolf Pack's Austin Byler singled and later scored on a wild pitch to give the Pack its one-run lead in the top of the seventh.
The Wolf Pack also led 3-2 in the sixth inning. Kewby Meyer and Jordan Devencenzi doubled in the fifth for the first Pack run to cut Sacramento State's lead to 2-1 in the fifth. Jay Anderson and Scott Kaplan, who had three of the Pack's nine hits, each singled in a run in a two-run sixth as the Pack took a 3-2 lead.
Barry Timko started and went 3.1 innings for the Pack. Timko allowed six hits and two runs and was followed to the mound by Mark Nowczewski, Tyler Wells, Colby Blueberg, Trenton Brooks and Whitt. Wells allowed a run in the bottom of the sixth as Sacramento State tied the game at 3-3. Nowaczewski and Blueberg each pitched a shutout inning. Brooks allowed two hits and a walk in just one-third of an inning but did not allow a run.
Clay Cederquist started the Hornets' eighth inning with a single and David Del Grande later tied the game at 4-4 with a two-out triple. The Pack then intentionally walked Nathan Lukes to bring up Hunley, who hit a 1-1 pitch from Whitt for his home run.
The Wolf Pack committed three more errors and now has 19 in eight games. All of the Hornets' runs on Tuesday, though, were earned.
The Wolf Pack's six-game losing streak is its longest since it lost seven in a row to close out the 2013 regular season. The Wolf Pack lost 12 of its final 15 games in 2013 and has now lost 18 of its last 23 games dating back to late last April.
The Wolf Pack has now lost six of its last seven games to Sacramento State over the past three (2012-14) seasons. The Hornets are 5-4 this season.
The Wolf Pack will open its home season at Peccole Park on Friday (4 p.m.) against San Jose State. The three-game Mountain West series will also include single games on Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (noon).