Bayardi Doesn't Fool Around|
April 1, 2010
LAS VEGAS - A pair of freshmen did the heavy lifting for UNLV baseball Thursday night, as Brandon Bayardi hit a go-ahead three-run home run and reliever Brady Zuniga worked 3.1 scoreless innings in the Rebels' 7-5 win over New Mexico at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
Bayardi put the Rebels in front after the seventh-inning stretch, hitting a three-run home run to left field with two outs that made the score 7-5 heading into the final two innings. Cash Thomas walked to open the inning and then Jarred Frierson singled to right, setting the table for Bayardi, who drilled his second round tripper of the season.
Zuniga (4-0) worked out of a runners-on-the-corners jam in the eighth inning and went back to the mound in the ninth, trying to preserve the win for the Rebels in the opener of the series. The right-hander opened the inning by striking out the first two Lobo hitters looking and then got Alex Courcha swinging to end the game.
"We pitched pretty well tonight, especially Brady Zuniga out of the bullpen," UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith said. "This is a big win for us because it gives us some momentum and it puts us in a great position to win the series, which is what you need to do in conference play."
UNLV improved to 16-10 overall and evened its Mountain West Conference record to 2-2 while New Mexico is now 17-10 and 4-3 in league play, with Edwin Carl (4-2) taking the loss as he gave up the long ball to Bayardi.
The Rebels opened the game by scoring two runs in the top of the first, with Travis Feiner doubling home one of the runs, but New Mexico answered with three runs of its own in the second. UNM's lead grew to 4-2 in the top of the fourth when Allbritton scored on a wild pitch by UNLV starter Tanner Peters, who gave up five runs in 5.1 innings of work before turning the game over to Zuniga.
UNLV knotted the score at four in the bottom of the fifth, benefitting from a pair of Lobo errors, with Frierson singling home a run and Bayardi drawing a bases-loaded walk. New Mexico went back in front in the top of the sixth on an RBI single, one of just two hits that Zuniga gave up on the evening.
Frierson had two hits and also scored twice for the Rebels, who had seven hits on the evening and did not commit an error. UNM finished with nine hits but also committed three errors which lead to four unearned runs.
UNLV and New Mexico continue their series at Wilson Stadium on Friday, with Stephen Singer taking the mound for the Rebels and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (PT).