The Wolf of Virginia Street, Week 27

The good guys wore black this week, and they were plenty good. Also, baseball stumbles while softball soars.

The Bullet Points

  • For the second time in as many weeks, %%MATCH_10%% basketball found itself down by seven at the break after a lethargic first half. And also for the second time, the team battled back and pulled out a 73-68 win, with the added difficulty of Marqueze Coleman being out for most of the second half. The senior point guard’s off-balance three-pointer tied the game at 37 apiece while also costing him a severely sprained ankle when he accidentally landed on the foot of Utah State’s Darius Perkins. Shortly afterward, the team took its first lead and never trailed again, with Tyron Criswell and then D.J. Fenner leading the charge. The “Look How Far They’ve Come” stat of this game? This was Nevada’s first regular season sweep of Utah State since their final year in the WAC. And even without “Chicken” Stew Morrill on the sidelines, that counts for something.

  • The loss of Coleman conveniently raised the stakes for Sunday afternoon’s tilt with Colorado State from “Time to Panic” to “ZOMG!!!1!!11!” with a bye in the Mountain West tournament at stake. But once again, the Cardiac Pack did what they’ve done for most of the year — in overtime, of course — and triumphed 87-80. The rest of the team was nothing short of tremendous, with just about everyone pitching in something that contributed directly to the victory. Even less heralded players like Elijah Foster and Juwan Anderson did their parts, with Foster in particular showing just how much his absence in round one between these teams mattered. And what can I say about the crowd? Everyone in attendance can pat themselves on the back for being loud, making the black-out work and affecting the outcome of that game. Each of the last three home games, really, which could’ve easily turned the Pack’s season for the worse with even one loss among them. The students…still aren’t standing for the whole game. Or coordinating much of anything. But baby steps!

  • After scraping together a split of four games with Northwestern, Wolf Pack baseball started off this week with a bang, beating Arizona State on the road 11-5 behind Bryce Graeger’s career-best five RBI. There may not have been a national ranking attached to the Sun Devils, but make no mistake: this was a good win. ASU is, simply put, one of the best college baseball programs in the country, with five national titles to their name (!), 53 consecutive seasons with 30 or more wins (!!), and spending at least a portion of every season in their history nationally ranked (!!!). It’s important to remember these things in light of the eggs the team proceeded to lay in their next three games, failing to get traction in a 4-1 loss at UC Irvine on Friday, frittering away a five-run lead in an 8-7 extra innings loss to the Anteaters on Saturday, and then ending the weekend with a 6-0 shutout loss. The only consistent trait of this team so far has been inconsistency, albeit against another good team picked second in the Big West. Nevada hosts Santa Clara in their home opener on Tuesday before hitting the road again to open conference play at %%MATCH_14%%.

  • Special recognition is in order for the Wolf Pack softball team, who won their ninth, tenth and eleventh games in a row last week at a tournament hosted by Santa Clara. One more win in their next game against Loyola Marymount in another tournament this weekend would tie the program’s longest-ever winning streak to go along with their best start in program history. Though the level of competition leaves something to be desired — one of the wins in that streak came against some dude named Robert Morris presumably playing all nine positions — it’s still likely a good sign from a squad that was picked eighth out of nine Mountain West teams before the season. Check out this cool feature from %%MATCH_12%% on freshman pitcher Brooke Bolinger, and sit tight, as the team’s first home games — a double-header against Sacramento State — won’t be for another few weeks.

The Beer

Coronado Stupid Stout 2015 (San Diego, %%MATCH_13%%) ~ The name is especially appropriate this week: stupid for doing two San Diego beers two weeks in a row, and stupid tasty. Coronado’s latest in a series of annual imperial stouts is part of a bunch of other limited releases across multiple styles, and is only available in 22-ounce bottles in our neck of the woods. It poured deep black with a very small, tan head, and smelled of cocoa and coffee. The tastes ranged from creamy vanilla to chocolate to coffee to light Nugget hops, all with a little high alcohol burn (9% ABV). While velvet in its smoothness, it was also slightly watery. I’m pretty biased towards imperial stouts in general, so I still enjoyed it, but there are things it could’ve improved upon. A little aging would mellow some of the flavors, but I’m not sure it would help with that watery texture. It’s nitpicking in this case, as I still give it four tipsy Wolfies out of five.

All fan mail (burning or otherwise) can be sent to:

Andrew Maurins
c/o North RV Lot
Campus of THE University of Nevada
Reno, NV 89557

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