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Wolf Pack tops Boston College, Santa Clara to open Johnson era

Jay Anderson of the Nevada Wolf Pack gets back safely to first base on Friday during a 4-1 victory over Santa Clara.
Jay Anderson of the Nevada Wolf Pack gets back safely to first base on Friday during a 4-1 victory over Santa Clara.
Santa Clara University

The Nevada Wolf Pack followed the same formula twice on Friday to win its first two baseball games of the season.

The Wolf Pack beat the Boston College Eagles and Santa Clara Broncos by identical 4-1 scores at Santa Clara's Schott Stadium to open the Jay Johnson era. Johnson, an assistant coach at San Diego the past two seasons, took over as Wolf Pack coach last summer after the retirement of Gary Powers.

The Wolf Pack is now 2-0 to open a season for the first time since 2010 when it beat Santa Clara twice at Schott Stadium.

The Wolf Pack used solid pitching and timely hitting to win both games.

Barry Timko got the start and the victory against Boston College. The left-hander went 5.2 innings and allowed four hits and a run while fanning four. Jason Deitrich, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, earned the save with 3.1 shutout innings of work. Michael Fain, the Pack's closer a year ago, started against Santa Clara and went 4.1 innings and allowed just three hits and one unearned run. Colby Blueberg earned the victory with 1.2 innings in relief and Adam Whitt earned the save by pitching the final three innings and allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out five.

Fain, Blueberg and Whitt had to overcome five Wolf Pack errors against Santa Clara. The Pack made six errors combined in the two games, two each by freshman shortstop Justin Bridgman, catcher Jordan Devencenzi and third baseman Ryan Teel.

The Wolf Pack took a 2-1 lead on Boston College with a pair of runs in the third inning off the Eagles Eric Stevens. Kewby Meyer doubled and scored on a double by Austin Byler. Byler later scored on a ground out by Brad Gerig.

The Pack went ahead 4-1 with two runs in the seventh. Bridgman walked and scored on a triple by Meyer. Byler later drove in Meyer with a single.

Meyer and Byler each had two hits against Boston College.

The game was the first in Wolf Pack history against Boston College. The Eagles went 12-40 overall last year and 4-25 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and hit .209 as a team. They have not had a winning season since 2010.

The Pack also fell behind Santa Clara 1-0 in Friday night. Run-scoring singles by freshman Trenton Brooks and Bridgman, though, gave the Pack a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

Kyle Hunt drove in Byler with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning for a 3-1 lead. The Pack then manufactured their fourth run. Bridgman walked, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jay Anderson and went to third on stolen base. He scored when Broncos' catcher Stevie Berman threw the ball away on the steal.

Byler, Kaplan and Bridgman each had two hits for the Pack against Santa Clara.

The Wolf Pack had 16 hits in the two games combined and held Boston College and Santa Clara to just 11 hits. Byler went 4-for-8 in the two games while Bridgman and Kaplan each had three hits.

The game was the first for the Wolf Pack against Santa Clara since 2012. The two teams used to compete against each other from 1985-91 in the West Coast Conference. The Broncos now own a 63-54 edge in the all-time series against Nevada.

Santa Clara, though, was just 14-39 last year overall and 1-23 in the WCC. The Broncos have gone a combined 10-59 in the WCC over the last three years. They have not had an overall winning season since 2008.

The Wolf Pack will play Boston College on Saturday and Santa Clara on Sunday.

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