March 9, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team used timely hitting and stellar pitching to knock off the visiting Washington State Cougars in game one of its three-game weekend series here at Wilson Stadium.
Joe Robinson (2-1) got the win after scattering six hits and allowing just one run while striking out three for the Rebels (8-6). Sophomore Buddy Borden earned his first save of the season, allowing just two hits over three innings in relief and striking out eight of the 11 batters he faced.
Mark Shannon crushed a J.D. Leckenby offering over the wall in center field to lead off the Rebel fourth, giving UNLV a 1-0 lead. Shannon finished 3-for-4 from the plate with a run scored and an RBI to lead the UNLV offense.
Danny Higa singled to start the fifth and made it 2-0 in favor of the home team after scoring from second off Trevor Kirk’s RBI single to left field.
The two runs would prove to be all UNLV would need as Robinson and Borden combined to strike out 11 on the night.
Washington State (7-4) cut the lead to 2-1 in the top half of the sixth when Adam Nelubowich singled to left on the 13th pitch of the at-bat, scoring Jason Monda. Robinson would retire the next two batters to work his way out of the jam and keep the Rebel lead intact.
Borden took over to start the seventh, quickly striking out the first two batters before giving up back-to-back singles. With runners at first and third, Taylor Ard was frozen on a called third strike to end the Cougar threat.
Borden sat down the WSU batters in order in the eighth and came back in the ninth to strike out the side to preserve the series-opening win.
The two teams will be back at it tomorrow with first pitch slated for 2:05 p.m. from Wilson Stadium.