Rebels Defeat Cougars In Extra Innings
March 18, 2004
PROVO, Utah - Eric Nielsen picked up 5 RBIs as UNLV (13-7) defeated BYU (10-17) 12-9 in eleven innings in both team's Mountain West Conference opener.
Nielsen got the scoring going early, as he drove in four runs in the first three innings. His single to left field in the top of the first scored Andrew D'Angelo and a two-out 2 RBI double to left center in the bottom of the third gave the Rebels an early 3-0 advantage.
BYU answered back with three runs in the bottom of the third off of an RBI single by designated hitter Rob Itri and a 2 RBI double by center fielder Ryan Chambers. The Cougars added another run in the bottom of the fourth, and pulled ahead 4-3, after Chambers doubled to right center, scoring second baseman Wade Vest.
Senior center fielder Brent Johnson started off the fifth inning with a solo home run to left field to tie the score at four all before Nielsen doubled to left center, scoring Ryan Ruiz and giving UNLV a 5-4 lead.
The lead would be short-lived, as BYU scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning on RBIs by shortstop Brandon Taylor and right fielder Ben Saylor.
BYU would score the equalizer in the bottom of the sixth as third baseman Ranger Wiens doubled down the left field line to score Chambers from first base. The Cougars pulled ahead 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh when first baseman Tim Law hit an RBI single to left field that scored Taylor.
Ben Schienbaum came into pitch for the Rebels in the bottom of the ninth and got the job done as he allowed just one hit and pushed the game into extra innings.
Brent Johnson temporarily put the Rebels on top in the bottom of the tenth, as he hit his second home run of the night, a solo shot over the wall in left field. BYU's Kory Knell tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as his double to right field scored catcher Casey Cloward.
UNLV jumped back on top in the top of the eleventh, as White doubled to left center, scoring third baseman Ty Soto and giving the Rebels a 10-9 lead. Eric Nielsen picked up his fifth RBI of the night on an infield single that scored Johnson before a throwing error on BYU second baseman Wade Vest allowed Andrew D'Angelo to score and UNLV to go ahead 12-9.
Nielsen finished the game 4-for-7 with 5 RBI while Johnson ended up 4-for-7 with 3 RBI and 2 home runs. Ben Schienbaum (2-2) picked up the win for the Rebels.
For the Cougars, Chambers and Itri both finished 2-5 with 2 RBI while Bryce Burger (0-3) was charged with the loss.
Starter Jake Vose pitched four and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs off of seven hits while striking out three and walking just one.
The two teams will play game two of the series tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. (PST), before playing the series finale on Saturday afternoon.