Offense Antes Up Seven Runs As Rebels Beat Lopes|
April 4, 2016
PHOENIX (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV baseball team (11-17) concluded its four-game swing through the American Southwest with its second straight victory, a 7-2 non-conference triumph over the Grand Canyon Lopes (15-13) at Brazell Stadium Monday. The Scarlet & Gray got eight quality innings from Dean Kremer, while its offense received three RBI from Cooper Esmay.
Kremer (1-3) struck out eight batters and only allowed one earned run off of five hits to earn his first win as a Rebel. His only blemish was an eighth-inning, solo home run allowed after his offense had built up a seven-run cushion.
UNLV’s offense got going early with a three-run outburst in the second inning that was sparked by three hits and a walk against GCU starter Jake Wong (0-1). After the first out had been recorded, the Rebels quickly loaded the bases behind a single by Nick Ames, a walk issued to Andrew Yazdanbakhsh and another single to A.J. VanMeetren. Esmay then stepped up and cranked a double down the left-field line to plate two runs. Cody Howard followed with a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.
The Rebels added four insurance tallies in the eighth off GCU reliever Josh Andrews to push the score to 7-0. Kyle Isbel led off with a bunt single and came around to score from first off an RBI double by Payton Squier. Austin Anderson followed with a walk, but was later forced out at second on a fielder’s choice ground ball put in play by Nick Ames. Squier took third on Ames’ grounder, but scored when GCU’s shortstop committed an error on the continuation of the play. Back-to-back singles by Yazdanbakhsh and VanMeetren, the second of which resulted in an RBI, ended Andrews sting on the mound. Jaren Drummond was summoned from the bullpen, but quickly surrendered an RBI single to Esmay to extend the lead to seven.
“Dean Kremer had a great outing,” said head coach Stan Stolte. “He had great control of the game against a very good Grand Canyon club. Cooper Esmay had a couple big RBI hits and we made the plays defensively when we had to. It was a good finish to a long weekend.”
UNLV got multiple-hit efforts from VanMeetren (three), Squier (two), Yazdanbakhsh (two) and Esmay (two). Both Ames and Yazdanbakhsh scored two runs, while Isbel, Squier and VanMeetren touched home plate once.
GCU’s two runs came off solo homers, one in the eighth and another in the ninth. Paul Panaccione hit his off Kremer in the eighth, while Zach Malis’ came off an offering from Larry Quaney III in the final frame.
Wong allowed three runs off of five hits and one walk. He struck out wo in defeat. His successors, Andrews and Drummond, combined to throw four innings of relief, and allowed four runs off of five hits.
UNLV will stay out on the open road for another four-run swing, this time it’s through the Golden State and America’s Finest City. The Rebels will play the San Diego State Aztecs Friday through Sunday at Tony Gwynn Stadium and then square off with the San Diego Toreros at Fowler Park next Monday.
The Rebels will return to Las Vegas for their only home games of the month, a three-game, Mountain West series against the Air Force Falcons on April 15-17.
NOTES: Isbel extended his season-best hitting streak to 12 games with help from his bunt single in the eighth … Isbel also has reached base in 12 straight games, which is the second-longest stretch by a Rebel this season, as Squier reached safely in 18 straight … Squier has a team-best 13 multiple-hit games … UNLV improved to 10-1 when it holds its opposition to five runs or less … UNLV improved to 4-5 when its offense scores six or more runs … UNLV’s offense has accumulated 10 or more hits in seven of its last 10 games - including three of its four contests since Friday’s game at New Mexico – after it had only reached double digits in four of its first 18 affairs.