Parraz Provides Final Pop In Sunday Slugfest|
April 3, 2005
LAS VEGAS - With gusting winds ranging from 20-35 mph Zeke Parraz' three-run home run in the seventh inning lifted UNLV to a 16-15 win over San Diego State in a wild game Sunday at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
At one point in the game the Rebels owned a 9-0 lead but were down 14-13 when Parraz stepped up to the plate against SDSU reliever Will Miller with two men on. Parraz then drilled his first home run of the year off the top of the right-center fence for a 16-14 UNLV lead.
The senior shortstop then slammed the door on an Aztec rally in the top of the ninth, making two strong throws from short to first on ground balls after SDSU had scored a run to creep within one.
UNLV reliever Matt Wagner (2-2) picked up the win and Kyle Tabeek earned his third save as the Rebels improved to 14-18, 8-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Miller (0-2) took the loss for SDSU, which fell to 7-20, 2-4 in league play.
No lead was safe Sunday as both teams took advantage of the strong winds, combining to hit 14 extra-base hits, including four home runs. UNLV hit three round trippers on the afternoon in scoring its most runs since a 19-9 win over Cal State Northridge in the third game of this season.
UNLV bolted out to a 9-0 lead after three innings behind the wildness of SDSU starter Ben Coon. The left-hander started the bottom of the second inning by giving up a double to Justin Tellam before completely losing his control. Coon walked the next three UNLV batters on 12 consecutive balls to push the first run across the plate, starting a big inning for the Rebels.
Tyler Beranek followed with a two RBI single and then Coon walked Ryan Bird to load the bases again, bringing a close to his day. Andres Esquibel came in for SDSU and retired the first two batters he faced but couldn't get Parraz out as he hit a single through the left side that scored two. Tellam, who started the inning with a double, then hit a single that scored another run, giving UNLV a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning Chris Bonnell led off with his fourth home run of the season and then Matt Fry followed with a solo shot of his own, moving the Rebel lead to 8-0. It was the first time this season that UNLV had players hit back-to-back jacks in a game. Mike Cruz knocked in CJ Lang with a two-out triple later in the inning, giving UNLV a 9-0 lead.
SDSU wouldn't go away though, and started chipping away at the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs in the frame. Jordan Swayden's two-RBI single did the most damage in the frame. Then in the top of the fifth inning Jake McClintock brought the Aztecs to within one, hitting a grand slam off of UNLV starter Derek Rodriguez that made the score 9-8.
UNLV responded by scoring three in its half of the frame as Cruz hit a double that scored two and then later scored on an error to push the UNLV lead to 12-8. Cruz went 3-5 with four RBI and three runs scored and missed hitting for the cycle by a home run.
SDSU answered with six runs in the top of the seventh to grab its first lead of the game at 14-12, setting up the bottom of the seventh and Parraz' big home run.
Parraz finished the game 2-6 with five RBI and a run scored while Fry and Beranek each drove in two runs. Every starter for UNLV scored at least one run and eight of nine recorded a hit on the afternoon.
The Rebels hit the road for a non-conference game Tuesday night at UC Riverside with the game scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. (PST) at Riverside, Calif.