March 23, 2011
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team knocked off its third ranked opponent this season, downing No. 11 UC Irvine by a 4-3 count here tonight at Wilson Stadium.
The Rebels (18-6, 1-2 Mountain West) snapped a two-game losing streak with their win over the Anteaters thanks in large part to a strong performance from their bullpen. Max Javate (3-1) and Brady Zuniga combined to throw 5.1 innings, giving up just two hits and no runs while striking out four along the way.
Rance Roundy and Travis Feiner each had two hits while Richie Jimenez tallied two RBI on the night to lead the Rebel offense.
UNLV raced out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning. Hunter Beaty led the game off with a double and scored one batter later when Trevor Kirk singled to center, making it a 1-0 ball game. After Kirk was caught stealing at third for the second out, Roundy doubled to center to put two aboard for the Rebels. Jimenez’s single up the middle capped the scoring in the first at 3-0.
Following two scoreless innings, UC Irvine (14-3), winners of seven of its past eight games, knotted the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back singles and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Anteaters. UNLV starter Buddy Borden then walked in the first run before head coach Tim Chambers turned to the pen.
Javate entered and gave up a two-run single to Jonathan Hurst before getting D.J. Crumlich to pop up to end the inning.
The Rebels answered in the bottom half, with Feiner leading off with a double to left. Cash Thomas’ fly out allowed Feiner to move to third before Beaty’s sacrifice fly to center field gave UNLV the 4-3 lead.
The Anteaters tallied just one hit over the ensuing five innings. Zuniga threw three complete innings, not allowing a hit and striking out the side in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
UNLV will resume Mountain West Conference action this weekend, traveling to Albuquerque, N.M. for a weekend series with the Lobos. First pitch is schedule for 5 p.m. Friday night at Isotopes Park.