Rebels Out-Slugged By Mustangs|
March 10, 2007
LAS VEGAS - UNLV baseball could not overcome giving up 11 runs in the third inning in a 17-14 loss to Cal Poly on Saturday afternoon at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, as both teams combined for 37 hits.
In most games the Rebels' 16 hits and 14 runs, including six in the bottom of the ninth when they made it interesting, would have been enough for the 313 fans in attendance to see a victory. Instead the end result was a second-straight loss in the series as UNLV fell to 9-14 on the season. Cal Poly improved to 12-10 on the season with Matt Leonard (2-2) benefiting from the run support to get the win.
The Rebels had a quick 3-0 lead after the first inning, thanks to the first home run of the season from right fielder Keith Smith with two on. Rance Roundy drew a walk to start the game and then Braden Walker singled, bringing Smith to the plate. Smith crushed an offering from Leonard over the wall for the early lead.
After each team scored a run in the third, the Mustangs blew the game wide open in the third, scoring 11 runs in the frame for a 14-3 advantage.
In the inning Cal Poly sent 16 batters to the plate, scoring the runs on eight hits with 10 of them coming with two outs in the inning. The Mustangs recorded two singles off of starter Chris Saddoris to start the inning, but then he got the next two outs before unraveling. The next 11 batters reached base as the Rebels used four pitchers in the inning before Michael Goodman came in and got a strike out to get out of the inning. Saddoris fell to 0-4 on the year, giving up nine runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings of work.
Over the next five innings the two teams exchanged runs in an offensive performance despite the wind blowing in from left most of the afternoon. The Rebels put up four runs and the Mustangs five over that span and entered the ninth inning with a 16-8 lead, which grew to 17-8 heading into the bottom of the frame. During that span Chad Miller hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot to left in the sixth inning.
That is when the Rebels made the game interesting, scoring six runs on five hits and an error to pull within three at 17-14 with a runner on and two outs. In the rally Jarred Frierson hit a bases-loaded two-run single, Walker hit a run-scoring single, Miller doubled in two runs and Efren Navarro Jr. pushed home the sixth run on an RBI ground out.
All of the runs came off of Kevin Castner, who was relieved by Grant Theophilus, who got Efren Navarro Jr. that moved Blake Amador to third and brought up Drew Beuerlein. Eric Reed then came in to face Beuerlein and Reed got a fly out to left field, ending the game and giving Reed his sixth save of the year.
Miller finished the game with four RBI and went 3-of-6 from the plate and also scored three runs while Walker crossed the plate three times and Willie Bowman had three hits. Joshua Thomas drove in five runs for the Mustangs and Grant Desme also had three RBI in the win.
UNLV and Cal Poly wrap up their series tomorrow with the first pitch slated for 1:00 p.m. (PST) on Sunday at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.