Rebels Complete Weekend Sweep Of Air Force|
March 12, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV baseball team (8-8 overall, 4-2 MW) recorded its third straight one-run victory – 6-5 – over the Air Force Falcons (6-9, 0-6 MW) Sunday afternoon to sweep the three-game, Mountain West series that was played at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. All three contests came down to the wire with the host Rebels taking Friday and Saturday’s outings in their final at-bat while they had to fend off a late-innings rally by the Falcons Sunday.
The Scarlet & Gray jumped out to a five-run lead with three runs in the third and two more in the fourth; however, a two-out RBI single by Bryson Stott in the eighth proved to be the difference maker in the one-run affair. Stott followed Kyle Isbel to the plate after the latter had legged out a double hit to left-center field.
Rodriguez factored in four of UNLV’s six runs with three RBI and one run scored. In the third, he put UNLV ahead 2-0 with an RBI single, and later scored in the frame off a run-scoring hit by Justin Jones. In the fourth, he knocked in a pair with another base hit.
“It’s never easy to sweep a series, especially against a scrappy opponent like Air Force,” said head coach Stan Stolte. We were fortunate that a couple plays we didn’t make in the eighth didn’t bite us. Garrett Poole was fantastic and Andrew Schultz and Bryan Menendez were great out of the bullpen. The add-on run in the eighth by Isbel and Stott was big.
Air Force began its comeback in the eighth when it plated two off a two-out dropped fly ball. The Falcons had gotten two-out singles from Nic Ready and Ashton Easley to keep the inning going. Russell Williams followed with a fly ball to right-center field that Max Smith misplayed.
UNLV starter Garrett Poole’s (2-1) day came to an end following the error. Poole allowed three runs (one earned) to score off of 12 hits in 7.2 innings of work. He gave way to Andrew Schultz, who recorded the third out of the eighth.
Jake Lewis was handed the ball to start the ninth, but his outing only lasted two batters as he surrendered a single and an RBI triple. Bryan Menendez was brought in to quell the threat, and he did just that to earn his first save. Menendez struck out two and got one ground ball out; however, Air Force was able to score off the grounder (out No. 2) to pull within one.
The Rebels scored their first run off a third-inning double play. Isbel led off and was hit by a Matt Hargreaves (1-1) offering. Stott and Squier followed with singles to load the bases. After the double play, which Isbel scored on, Rodriguez hit an RBI single up the middle to bring home Stott. Singles from De La Trinidad and Jones helped Rodriguez make his way back to the plate and up the lead to 3-0.
UNLV juiced the bags, once more, in the fifth off a walk to Cooper Esmay, a single by Squier and a hit-by-pitch to Ames. Rodriguez then delivered his two-run single.
Hargreaves was tagged with the loss in 4.0 innings of work. He struck out three against five runs, nine hits and one walk. He gave way to Ethan Nichols in the fifth, and the reliever was touched for one run off of three hits.
UNLV is back home Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-game, midweek set against the Grand Canyon Antelopes. Tuesday’s tilt, which is at 6:05 pm, is part of “$2 Tuesday” where tickets are only $2 (online and in-advance), hot dogs are $2 and beer is discounted by $2. Wednesday’s first pitch is at 2:05 pm.
NOTES: UNLV is 96-30 all-time versus Air Force dating back to the 1969 season … Since 2010, UNLV has now won 21 straight over Air Force that have been played at Wilson Stadium – overall the Rebels are 27-10 in this time frame … Sunday’s win marked the second instance that UNLV had been victorious when it was outhit by its opponent – Saturday’s game was the first … The three games versus Air Force are the first that UNLV has played to one-run differentials since it did so in the 2015 MW Championship on May 20 (San Jose State/W 2-1 and Fresno State/L 6-5) and May 21 (vs. Air Force/L 4-3) … Stott has hit safely in 15 of UNLV’s 16 games this season and has a team-high 11 multiple-hit games with the addition of Sunday’s two-hit outing … Isbel extended his season-best hitting streak to eight games with help from two hits Sunday … Three Rebels – Stott, Isbel and Squier – have all reached base safely in all 16 contests.