March 30, 2004
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV baseball team (19-8) kept it close for most of the night, but faltered in the ninth inning, giving up six runs and allowing the Anteaters of UC Irvine (19-6-1) to blow open what had been a close contest, and walk away from Las Vegas with an 11-4 victory over the Rebels.
Irvine left fielder Justin Szabo answered back in the top of the second, as he launched a solo shot off of the scoreboard in right field, his first of the year.
Irvine designated hitter R.J. Brown added a solo home run of his own as he hit a ball deep over the wall in center, tying the game at 2-2.
The Anteaters would go on to add three more runs in the top of the fifth inning as catcher Mark Wagner hit an RBI double to center field and center fielder Erik Johnson hit a 2RBI single down the left line.
UNLV came right back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs on an RBI single to center field by Brent Johnson and a sacrifice fly by Nielsen, pulling the Rebels to within 5-4.
UC Irvine pulled away in the ninth on a slew of singles and Rebel miscues, as the Anteaters racked up six runs off of four hits and one Rebel error.
For the Anteaters, second baseman Matt Fisher finished the game 3-for-6 with 2 RBI and Szabo finished 3-for-4 with 2RBI. Third baseman Matt Anderson and centerfielder Erik Johnson also knocked in two runs each for UC Irvine. Reliever Steve Schoer (4-2) picked up the win.
Nielsen finished the game 1-for-3 with 2 RBI for the Rebels, while Gill was 2-for-4 with 1 RBI and Johnson was1-for-4 with one run batted in.
UNLV starter Matt Wagner (2-1) was charged with the loss, giving up five earned runs off of eight hits while striking out and walking three.
The Rebels will be back in action this weekend as they travel to San Diego for a Mountain West Conference matchup against the Aztecs of San Diego State on April 2-4.