Feb. 25, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team evened its season record to 3-3 and improved to 1-1 in the 2012 Kleberg Bank College Classic with a 9-2 win over former Mountain West rival Utah here today at Whataburger Field.
The Rebels (3-3) had just eight hits in the last 18 innings before the start of today’s rain-delayed game against the Utes (1-5) and slugged out a season-high 19 hits. Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit while six different players had an RBI on the afternoon.
Freshman Zak Qualls (2-0) earned his second win in as many starts, throwing 6.1 innings, striking out seven while walking just one along the way.
The Rebels jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after a two-run single to left by freshman T.J. White and an RBI double up the middle from junior Tyler Blair. Blair finished 2-for-3 in his first start of the season.
Utah closed the gap with a pair of runs in the third making it 3-2. After hitting Tyler Relf to lead the inning off, Qualls surrendered an RBI double down the left-field line to Tyson Gonzalez to mark the first earned run against him this season. Two batters later Parker Morin’s single to left made it a one-run game.
UNLV answered the following inning, giving Qualls plenty of breathing room. Scott Dysinger singled and Trent Cook drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Brandon Bayardi doubled in two runs before scoring himself on a fielding error by Ute third baseman Trey Nielsen to make it 6-2.
Danny Higa scored on a Dysinger infield single in the seventh to extend the lead to 7-2 and UNLV tacked on two more in the eighth. Freshman Cole Wilstead picked up his first career hit as a pinch hitter in the eighth, singling in Cook while Bayardi scored two batters later off an Erik Van Meetren sacrifice fly to left field to round out the scoring.
Brady Zuniga closed out the game on the hill for the Rebels, yielding just one hit over the final 2.2 innings and striking out one.
The Rebels will wrap up action here in Corpus Christi tomorrow against Nebraska. First pitch is slated for 9 a.m. PT from Whataburger Field.