RENO - Darrell Rasner has pitched some impressive games during his freshman season for the University of Nevada.
Sunday afternoon may have been his best yet, as the right-hander from Carson City twirled a four-hit shutout as the Wolf Pack beat Long Beach State 14-0 to complete a sweep of the critical Big West Conference series before a crowd of 1,247 at Peccole Park.
The performance was also one for the Nevada record book because Rasner tied Cody Kosner's single season mark of 13 wins. Rasner is 13-2 this season and figures to get at least one more regular season start.
The Big West record for most wins by a freshman in one season is 14, set by Fresno State's Erik Schullstrom in 1988.
Nevada also improved to 18-9 in conference (34-17 overall) and strengthened its hold on second-place - now two games ahead of Long Beach State (16-11, 29-24). The Wolf Pack trailed Long Beach by one game in the race for second-place in the Big West coming into the weekend. The Wolf Pack trails conference leading Cal State Fullerton by two games.
This one was never in doubt. Nevada scored three runs in the first inning, highlighted by Alex Rangel's two-run homer, and three more runs in the third to take a 6-0 lead.
That was more than adequate support for Rasner, who threw his third complete game of the season and his second complete game shutout. He blanked Loyola Marymount with a six-hitter on March 4.
Rasner scattered four singles, walked four, struck out four and was aided by a defense that turned three double plays. He now has 87 strikeouts and 41 walks and a 3.27 earned run average in 110 innings of work.
Nevada was led offensively by the top three hitters in its order - Joe Inglett, Ryan Church and Matt Ortiz - who combined for nine hits, seven runs scored and five RBIs. Church went 3-for-3, scored four times and drove in two runs. Inglett's seventh inning single tied the Big West career hits record with 309 (he shares the mark with former Nevada star Lyle Overbay).
Rangel pounded two home runs and drove in three runs from the No. 5 spot. The junior third baseman now has seven home runs on the season.
This marked the first time Nevada had ever swept a three-game series from the perennial power 49ers.
Nevada hosts Stanford, ranked No. 2 by Baseball America, for a 2 p.m. non-conference game on Tuesday at Peccole Park. The Wolf Pack will also be at home to conclude their Big West season with a three-game series against Pacific starting on Friday.