Rebels Worth The Wait|
Feb. 22, 2008
LAS VEGAS - Junior shortstop Anthony Morel singled to left field with two out in the bottom of the 12th inning, lifting UNLV baseball to a 6-5 win over Central Michigan on opening night Friday at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
A 22-minute rain delay was followed by nearly 12 innings of baseball, but the end result was certainly worth the wait for the 537 fans in attendance.
With one out Jesse Wight and Sam Pavlisick singled off of CMU closer Jesse Hernandez, and then they both moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. Hernandez got Scotty Berke to strike out but could not get Morel, who hit a first-pitch curve ball through the left side of a drawn-in infield.
"I didn't think he was going to throw me a fast ball," Morel said. "I saw the ball well out of his hands and hit it well."
David Bumstead, the fifth Rebel pitcher of the evening, earned the win while Hernandez took the loss. UNLV moved to 1-0 on the young season while CMU, who earlier in the day lost 12-8 to Southern Utah in an afternoon game at Wilson Stadium, dropped to 0-2.
"Coming back the way we did really builds character," said UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith. "We have said that great teams win close ball games, and that is what we did tonight."
The Rebels jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning behind two hits and two Chippewa errors.
Rance Roundy led off the inning with a double and the moved to third on a single by Steve Rinaudo, bringing Scotty Berke to the plate. CMU starter Dan Taylor then balked, allowing Roundy to walk in for the game's first run. UNLV then got two more on a throwing error by Taylor that allowed Anthony Morel and Rinaudo to score.
The Chippewas got two runs back in the top of the fourth when Sean Hoorelebeke drilled a two-run home run over the left-field fence following a single by Tyler Stovall. The two clubs traded runs before CMU knotted the game at four in the top of the seventh when Hoorelebeke scored on a ground out.
CMU then took the lead in the top of the ninth on a squeeze play, with Noah Lankford laying down a bunt and Billy Anderson breaking on the pitch and crossing the plate in front of the tag. UNLV tied the score in the bottom of the ninth inning, pushing a run across the plate when Scruggs hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to bring in Sferra to send it into extra innings.
UNLV and CMU continue their three-game series tomorrow, with the second game slated to start at 2:00 p.m. (PST) at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, with the game being carried live on KSHP 1400 AM.