Feb. 20, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the second straight game UNLV baseball used an eighth-inning rally to earn a road victory, this time scoring two runs in the frame for a 5-3 win against Loyola Marymount on Tuesday at Page Stadium. This past Sunday the Rebels scored five runs in the eighth in an 11-10 win on the road at Cal.
The victory wrapped up a four-game road trip for the Rebels, who are now 7-6 on the year and are above .500 since they were 1-0 following their season-opening 10-4 win against Cal State Northridge. LMU dropped to 3-8-1 on the year.
UNLV junior Craig Heyer (2-2) came out of the bullpen to earn the win and sophomore closer Marc Baca worked a scoreless ninth in picking up his second save of the year. LMU reliever Andy Beal (0-1) took the loss as he gave up the two runs in the eighth.
The Rebels took the lead for the first time in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs on two hits and a pair of walks for a 5-3 advantage. Keith Smith gave UNLV the lead with a run-scoring single up the middle that scored Blake Gailen and moved Calvin Beamon to second. Efren Navarro Jr. then followed with a single of his own that pushed Beamon across the plate for a two-run advantage.
The Lions put two runners on with out in the bottom of the eighth, prompting UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith to bring in reliever Adam Moser out of the bullpen. Moser got Brett Mendoza to pop out on a bunt attempt and then Moser struck out Michael Glomb to end the threat.
Baca then came in to close out the game in the ninth, retiring the first two batters before running into trouble, giving up two base hits and bringing Taylor Shoop to the plate. Shoop hit a liner to left field but Gailen made a diving catch to end the game.
LMU scored the first two runs of the game, plating two in the bottom of the first inning after loading the bases against UNLV starter Matt Hutchison with one out. Hutchison issued a walk for the first run and then Angelo Songco hit a sacrifice fly that scored another to make it 2-0. UNLV got out of the inning though on that play however, as Sean Dovel was thrown out at first on a base-running error.
The Rebels scratched out single runs in the second and fourth innings to tie the game at two. In the second Xavier Scruggs singled with one out, moved to third and two wild pitches and then scored on a single by Ryan Kowalski to left field. Kowalski scored UNLV's run in the fourth, singling to right field, stealing second and then scoring on a single by Beamon.
The Lions went back in front in the fifth on a two-out rally that featured two singles and a walk and then a wild pitch by UNLV reliever Michael Goodman that allowed DeAndre Miller to cross the plate. Goodman avoided further damage in the inning by striking out Taylor Shoop to keep it a 3-2 game.
UNLV knotted the game again in the sixth inning with a two-out rally of its own. Kowalski drew a one-out walk and then advanced to third on a throwing error, bringing Gailen to the plate with two outs. Gailen delivered, lacing a double down the right-field line that scored Kowalski to tie the game.
In the bottom of the seventh the Rebels escaped a jam, getting a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out to keep the game tied. Heyer, usually the Rebels' Friday night starter, came in out of the bullpen and got Eric Farris to hit a ground ball to short that ended the inning.
Kowalski finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI to lead the Rebels, which also got two hits from Navarro Jr. UNLV stole fives bases in the game was took advantage of nine walks issued to them by LMU pitchers. The Rebels scored their runs on 10 hits while the Lions mustered eight hits in the game and committed two errors.
UNLV returns home and opens a three-game series against No. 17 Arizona, with the first game set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. (PST) at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. The series with the Wildcats will be the third-straight home series for the Rebels against a ranked opponent after hosting No. 19 Pepperdine and No. 9 Cal State Fullerton.