Peters Twirls Gem
April 17, 2009
LAS VEGAS - Behind the one-hit complete game of freshman pitcher Tanner Peters, UNLV beat Northern Colorado 2-0 on Friday night in the opener of a four-game series at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
Peters became just the fifth UNLV hurler to throw a complete-game one-hitter, and he is the first to accomplish the feat since Billy Wells limited Fresno State to one hit on March 10, 1985.
Peters was in complete control on the mound, facing three over the minimum in working the first complete game of the year for the Rebels, keeping the Bears off balance at the plate the entire evening. The only base knock the freshman right-hander allowed was a double to left field off the bat Adam Hilker that led off the top of the fourth inning, but Peters got the next three batters out to keep UNC off the board. He finished with seven strikeouts against three walks, and he was at his best early on, when he needed just 27 pitches to get through the first three innings of the game.
"Keeping my pitch count low through the first three innings was key, and the big thing was throwing first-pitch strikes," Peters said. "I had good defense behind me and coming out and getting a win to start the series is good."
UNLV moved to 17-18 overall on the year with Peters improving his record to 5-2 overall, while Northern Colorado dropped to 9-22 and its starter, Joe Willman (1-5), took the loss. Willman pitched a strong game, giving up two runs on seven hits, striking out seven and walking three.
With Peters dominating on the mound, UNLV did not need a lot of run production and after it scored a run in the bottom of the first, which proved to be more than enough. J.J. Sferra led off with a walk and after moving to second on a single, he moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt and then scored on a wild pitch by Willman.
UNLV tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth when Jesse Wight singled with one out in the frame, moved to third on a hit-and-run and then scored on Anthony Morel's base hit to left. The other offensive highlight of the night was in the bottom of the seventh, when Sferra extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a bunt single.
The Rebels collected one more hit the rest of the night and finished with eight, but that proved to be plenty with Peters on the mound.
"Peters is mature beyond his years and he really was in command the whole game," UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith said. "We started off the series with a win, and just as importantly, we didn't have to eat into our bullpen at the start of a long series like this."
UNLV continues its homestand against Northern Colorado with a doubleheader tomorrow, with the first game getting underway at 2:00 p.m. (PT) at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. The first game of the double-dip will be carried live on KSHP 1400 AM.