March 24, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team pounded out a season-high 24 hits and used an eight-run sixth inning to even its series with Air Force in a 15-4 win today at Falcon Field.
The Rebels (11-12, 1-4 Mountain West) trailed 3-0 early but used a four-run third and an eight-run outburst in the sixth inning to earn their first conference win of the season.
Six different Rebels had multi-hit games, led by junior Brandon Bayardi’s 5-for-6 performance at the plate. Bayardi also scored three runs and drove in three RBI on the day. Trevor Kirk, Scott Dysinger and Tyler Blair each had three hits while Danny Higa chipped in four and Erik Van Meetren tallied two.
Air Force (5-15, 1-1 Mountain West) put up three in the bottom of the second to take the early lead before the Rebel offense got hot.
UNLV stranded a pair of runners in both the first and second before putting it together in the third to gain its first lead of the game at 4-3. The Falcons tied it with a run in the bottom of the third, but it would be all Rebels after.
UNLV starter Zak Qualls (3-1) earned his third win of the year after throwing 7.1 innings, scattering eight hits and giving up four runs, three of which were earned. Brady Zuniga worked 1.2 innings of one-hit ball while striking out one to close out the win for the Rebels.
Following the game, the team and staff were taken on a tour of the Air Force Academy by Falcon head coach Mike Kazlausky and a trio of AFA players.
The two teams will be back in action tomorrow for the rubber match beginning at 11 a.m. PT at Falcon Field.