Rebels Win After Scoring Twice In The Eighth|
March 9, 2016
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV baseball team (4-6) scored twice in the eighth inning to distance itself from the UC Riverside Highlanders (5-8) for a 4-2 victory at the Riverside Sports Complex Tuesday night. The Rebels were led by a three-hit, two-run effort from Payton Squier and strong pitching from starter Cody Roper and relievers Larry Quaney III and Ben Wright.
The Scarlet & Gray got the game started quickly with three consecutive one-out singles from Nick Rodriguez, Squier and Corey Pool. Justin Jones stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and produced the game's first run with an RBI off a fielder's choice. With the bases still juiced, UCR starter Devin Mckeeson managed to strike out the next batter he faced, but followed that with a walk to Nick Ames that pushed across another run.
The Highlanders knotted the score in the third with a two-run single by Mark Contreras. The hit came after Roper walked two straight and the pair moved into scoring position after an error. Roper walked one more to load the bases; however, he got out of the predicament with a strikeout.
The home side had an opportunity to take the lead, once again, in the fourth, but Squier threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate. Moments after Colby Schultz reached on a two-out error, Casey Worden laced a single down the left-field line only to see Squier field the hit and fire home to Menendez for the tag out.
UNLV's offense awoke in the eighth after it had been held in check for six innings. Squier began the offensive with a one-out single. With Pool at the dish, Squier stole second to move into scoring position. Pool broke the stalemate with a double to left-center field, which was duplicated one batter later by Justin Jones.
The Rebel pitching staff combined to throw nine innings and it only allowed five hits and two unearned runs. Roper threw the first four frames and struck out four against three hits and four walks. Quaney III (1-0) picked up his first career win in three stanzas of relief. Quaney gave up two hits, but fanned one. Wright entered the contest in the bottom of the eighth and threw two scoreless for his first save of the year.
"Great efforts from Roper, Quaney and Wright tonight," said head coach Stan Stolte. "That's the way it looks like we're going to have to win games. The inning they scored (second), we walked a couple and didn't make a play. We won't always get away with that. Jones and Pool had two timely hits and (Kyle) Isbel saved us defensively. Any win on the road isn't easy. I was happy to see we showed some toughness and poise tonight."
UCR sent six different pitchers to the mound. Richard Delgado (0-3), the team's fifth hurler to see game action, was tagged with the loss after he allowed the two runs and three hits in the eighth.
UNLV and UCR return to the Complex Tuesday for a 3:00 pm affair to close out the two-game set in Riverside. Blaze Bohall (1-2) will get the start for the Rebels.
The Rebels return to Earl E. Wilson Stadium this weekend for a head-to-head tussle between two schools that claim Scarlet & Gray as their official colors. The Ohio State Buckeyes will square off against UNLV four times beginning with Friday's 6:05 pm tilt, which is also "Baseball Hat Giveaway Night" -- while supplies last.
NOTES: Squier extended his hitting and reached-base streaks to eight games with his three hits Tuesday ... Squier leads the team with five multiple-hit games, as he has registered three with two hits, one with three hits and one with four ... Jones is now tied for the team lead in multiple-RBI games with two ... UNLV improved to 4-0 when it holds its opposition to five or less runs and 4-4 when it scores five or less ... UNLV is also 2-0 in two-run contests.