Ames Hits Walk-Off Homer Just In The Nick Of Time|
March 1, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV baseball team (4-5) knocked off the UC Riverside Highlanders (5-3) Wednesday with help from a four-run ninth inning that Nick Ames capped off with a walk-off home run. The Rebels got four straight hits – two singles and two extra-base hits – from their one-through-four batters to spur the comeback bid.
Moments after Rebel reliever Bryan Menendez (1-0) struck out three batters in the top of the ninth, the Scarlet & Gray’s offense went to work in the home half of the frame against UCR closer Ryan Lillie (0-2). Kyle Isbel got things started with a one-out triple to right center. Bryson Stott and Payton Squier followed with consecutive singles, the first of which knocked in a run while the second put runners on the corners. Ames then stepped up and took a 0-1 offering from Lillie over the fence in right center for the win.
Coincidentally, Ames was the last Rebel to register a walk-off hit, an RBI single against Air Force (April 17) last year.
For the game, UNLV outhit UCR 11-9 with nine of those base knocks from its one through four hitters. In all, that quartet combined to go 9-for-20 in the contest. Isbel led all with three hits to two apiece from Stott, Squier and Ames. As for runs and RBI, Ames paced all with four RBI and one run while Stott contributed three and two, respectively.
The affair was eerily similar to Tuesday’s series opener in that UCR took an early lead before it swapped hands on two occasions. The only difference was that the Rebels were able to finish off their ninth-inning rally.
The Highlanders were able to stake themselves to a 2-0 edge with a single run in both the first and second.
UNLV turned things around in the fifth with help from two one-out walks to Vince Taormina and Nick Rodriguez as well as run-scoring hits from Stott, Squier and Ames. Stott’s – a two-out double – evened the score at 2-all. Squier and Ames’ brought home one apiece.
Paul Richy got the start for UNLV and left the affair with a 4-2 lead in 6.0 innings of work. Richy struck out three against two runs (one earned), four hits and two walks.
Unfortunately, the Rebel bullpen was not able to maintain Richy’s winning bid, as Andrew Schultz and Jake Lewis combined to allow four runs (three earned) off of three hits and one walk in only one-third of an inning.
Blaze Bohall came in and notched two outs to get out of the sixth, but not before he gave a pair of singles, the second brought home two inherited runners. In all, Bohall tossed 1.2 frames with two strikeouts against those two hits and one walk.
Lillie was tagged with the loss after he surrendered four runs off of four hits. He was only able to get one out in his stint on the mound.
The Rebels hit the road for four straight in the Bay Area. They open Mountain West play at San Jose State Friday night (7:00 pm) and continue the series Saturday (4:00 pm) and Sunday (1:00 pm). They’ll stay in Northern California and play a non-conference tilt against Saint Mary’s Monday afternoon (2:00 pm).
UNLV is back home March 10-12 for three conference games against Air Force. A two-game, midweek set against Grand Canyon will follow March 14-15.
Tickets can be purchased online and in-advance for $5 at UNLVTickets.com. Tickets purchased at the gate are $8 for adults, $6 for senior/faculty/staff, while kids 12 and under as well as UNLV students are free of charge.
NOTES: Stott has hit safely in all nine of UNLV’s games this season and has scattered multiple-hits in seven of those … Ames has hit safely in eight straight, as well … Three Rebels – Stott, Isbel and Squier – have all reached base safely in all nine contests … UNLV has registered double digits in hits seven times this season, including the last three outings for a total of 36 hits … UNLV is now 4-1 on the year when it scores six or more runs; however, it is 0-4 when held to five or less … Wednesday was the first instance that UNLV has won when it’s opponent has scored six or more runs – Rebels are 1-3 in those affairs.