UNLV Holds On To Beat No. 18 SDSU|
April 11, 2009
LAS VEGAS - Leading for most of the game, UNLV entered the bottom of the eighth inning tied with No. 18 San Diego State, but the Rebels scored three times to go on to a 9-6 victory on Saturday afternoon at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
The Aztecs had just tied the game in the top half of the frame on a solo home run, coming all the way back from a four-run deficit, before the Rebels answered in its half of the frame. Ryan Thornton's single to center field with one out scored J.J. Sferra to give UNLV the lead back at 9-6, and then Bryan Resnick scored on a balk and Anthony Morel added an RBI single to give the Rebels some insurance heading to the ninth.
Rebel reliever Marc Baca put two men on but got out of the jam, and he picked up his second win of the season by working the final three innings of the game after coming in from the bullpen. UNLV moved to 16-18 overall with the win and 5-7 in the Mountain West Conference, salvaging the end of a three-game series with SDSU in front of 639 fans. SDSU, which had won the first two games of the set, moved to 25-12 overall and 8-4 in league games, with Craig Rasmussen (1-1), taking the loss as he gave up all three runs in the eighth.
"The final game of any series is so important for so many reasons, and it was very key for us to get a win today," UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith said. "Especially since we had not beat San Diego State yet this season and we had to at least get one win in this series."
UNLV got off to a quick start, batting around in the first and scoring four runs on four hits off of Lavigne en route to an early 4-0 lead.
Sferra led off with a single, extending his hitting streak to 25 games, and after Resnick walked, Jarred Frierson doubled down the left-field line to score the first two runs of the game. Rance Roundy then singled to right field with one out to score Frierson, and Roundy would eventually score on single off the bat of Anthony Morel to cap the rally.
San Diego State chipped away at the lead, scoring a run in the second and another in the fourth to make it a 4-2 game, the Rebels extended the margin back to two runs in the bottom of the inning. Morel singled to left to open the bottom of the fourth and after moving up to second on a sacrifice bunt, he would score on Resnick's two-out triple to center, making it 5-2.
UNLV tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth on a single by Sferra that knocked in Morel, and the duo each had a strong day at the plate, and the Rebels regained a two-run lead at 6-4. Morel pounded out a career-high four hits in four trips to the plate, with a pair of RBI and two runs scored while Sferra went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
SDSU would score single runs over the next two innings, including a solo home run by Chris Wilson over the left-field wall on the first pitch of the eighth, which knotted the score at six. Baca gave up the home run, ending his bid for a save and costing Andrew Beresford a chance at a win. Beresford pitched well, giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits over six innings of work, as he struck out three and walk one.
UNLV wraps up a 10-game homestand next weekend with a four-game series against Northern Colorado that gets underway Friday at 7:00 p.m. (PT) at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.