April 9, 2004
LAS VEGAS - Sparked by an eight run third inning, the UNLV baseball team came from behind to defeat the Cougars of BYU 13-5 on Friday night. With the win, the Rebels improve to 21-11 and 8-3 in the Mountain West Conference. BYU falls to 14-23 and 4-7 in the MWC.
BYU struck early as they scored two in the top of the first off of RBI singles by first baseman Ben Saylor and right fielder Kevin Bills, taking the early 2-0 lead.
UNLV center fielder Brent Johnson made some history in the second inning, as his double down the left field line set an all-time record for career hits with 296. Johnson now holds the mark, which had been held by Steve Moser who played at UNLV from 1983-1986.
The Cougars added another run in the top of the second, as catcher Casey Cloward scored on a fielder's choice ball hit by left fielder Kory Knell.
The flood gates opened for the Rebels in the bottom of the third, as they bombarded the BYU pitching staff with a series of base hits, posting eight runs on the inning. The Rebels laid down eight hits in the inning, sending thirteen batters to the plate as they took the lead 8-3. Catcher C.J. Ebarb had two hits in the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Cougar second baseman Wade Vest scored on an error by Rebel first baseman Eddie Gill before shortstop Brandon Taylor doubled to left field , driving in a run and making the score 8-5.
In the fifth, UNLV designated hitter Ryan Kowalski doubled down the left field line, scoring Ebarb and Gill. Kowalski would come around to score as shortstop Peter White singled to left field, pulling the Rebels ahead 11-5.
Gill drove in two runs of his own in the bottom of the sixth, as he knocked a two-run shot over the wall in right field, his second of the season.
UNLV starter Jake Vose (5-2) picked up his fifth win of the season as he threw seven innings, giving up five runs (two earned) off of nine hits while walking two and striking out four. Reliever Matt Wagner was stellar in relief of Vose, striking out five of the six batters he faced in his two innings of work.
Ebarb finished the game a perfect 3-for-3 with 1 RBI and Gill ended up 3-for-4 with 4 RBI. Second baseman Ryan Ruiz added 2 RBI for the Rebels.
For the Cougars, Bills finished 2-for-4 with 1 RBI while starter Paul Jacinto (0-8) was charged with the loss.
The two teams will play the deciding game of the series tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Two special events will highlight the contest as both an Easter egg hunt and a "Break the Attendance" day will take place. The game will also be broadcast live on KSHP AM 1400.