March 20, 2011
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team dropped its second straight game, falling to No. 9 TCU, 8-4, here in the series finale at Wilson Stadium.
The Rebels (17-6, 1-2 Mountain West) fell behind early and were never able to catch up as the ninth-ranked Horned Frogs offense pounded out 17 this on the day.
The Horned Frogs (12-7, 2-1 Mountain West) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after the top of the first, led by Brance Rivera’s second leadoff home run of the series. Taylor Featherston doubled to left, made his way to third on a wild pitch and scored on Jason Coats’ sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-0. Jerome Pena’s RBI base hit pushed the lead to 3-0 before the Rebels could get out of the inning.
The Rebels cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom half of the first after when Hunter Beaty scored on a wild pitch by Steven Maxwell.
Coats homered to lead off the top of the third, pushing TCU’s lead to 4-1. UNLV responded in the bottom half when Cash Thomas singled up the middle and scored on Trevor Kirk’s single through the right side, cutting the lead to 4-2.
Pena made it 5-2 when he led off the fifth with a solo shot to right center, marking the third leadoff homer for TCU in the game. However, UNLV again responded in the bottom half when Travis Feiner led the inning off with a solo shot to left field, marking his first of the season.
The Rebels cut the lead to 5-4 in the sixth when Cook trotted home after an errant throw from TCU catcher Jimme Pharr. With the bases loaded and just one out, Trent Appleby was able to get Feiner to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
TCU extended its lead to 8-4 after scoring a run in each of the final three innings. Appleby yielded just one hit over three innings of work before giving way to Erik Miller in the ninth. Miller got Ryan Scott to groundout to third before giving up a base hit to Richie Jimenez to give UNLV a runner on first. Feiner would then ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game.
The Rebels will be back in action this week, hosting UC Irvine on Wednesday, March 23. First pitch is slated for 6:05 at Wilson Stadium.