Sac State’s Karnos nominated for WAC Pitcher of the Week

March 27, 2017

Max Karnos baseball

Max Karnos

An ailing back kept Anchorage’s Max Karnos off the pitcher’s mound for the start of the baseball season for Sacramento State.

When the 6-foot-4 senior returned to action after 11 games, the all-conference right-hander uncharacteristically struggled.

Until yesterday, that is.

Karnos, of South High fame, had the best outing in four appearances this season when he threw five scoreless innings at Northern Colorado during NCAA D1 play.

“Yeah that outing definitely felt good since the start of my season wasn’t going as good,” he told me. “One of the things working this time that wasn’t the others was I could throw all my pitches for strikes more often.

“Only problem was we still lost the game with their late inning comeback. I think this is the outing I needed to get back into my groove.”

Karnos left the game with a 5-0 lead but took a no-decision after Northern Colorado scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap an 8-7 win.

His performance didn’t go unnoticed as Karnos was nominated for Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week honors.

The effort is starting to look a lot like the guy that finished fifth in the WAC last year with 7 wins and a 3.38 ERA.

“The start of this season was tough to handle especially since it’s my senior season,” Karnos said. “I hurt my back right before the season started and that sidelined me for the first two weekends. After that I was just trying to get my arm in shape for conference play.”

His first outing came in relief against No. 11 Washington.

In his first start against Penn State, he didn’t get out of the third inning in an eventual 6-1 loss. His second start didn’t go much better as he threw just four innings in a 5-2 loss to Minnesota.

“Those first couple outings I wasn’t throwing enough strikes and I was behind too many hitters and at this level they will make you pay,” Karnos said. “Either way I stayed with the same routine with lifting and throwing and just trusted the process that I was getting back into shape.”