April 22, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team completed its first series sweep of the year, downing Air Force in comeback fashion in the bottom of the ninth, earning the 5-4 win here today at Wilson Stadium.
Brandon Bayardi’s sacrifice fly to right allowed T.J. White to score from third to give the Rebels their third straight win and move two games up on the Falcons in the Mountain West standings. Zack Hartman (1-1) picked up the win after working a three-up, three-down ninth for UNLV.
The Rebels (20-21, 5-10 Mountain West) took an early 2-0 lead in the second on back-to-back RBI singles from Scott Dysinger and Mark Shannon.
UNLV starter Buddy Borden worked quickly through the first four innings of play, giving up just two hits and allowing one runner to reach third while striking out eight in the process.
Borden struck out the first two batters of the fifth, marking the ninth and 10th, setting a new career-high and becoming the first UNLV pitcher this season to reach double digits. But the Air Force offense rallied with two outs to plate three runs on four hits.
Alex Bast’s infield single made it a 2-1 game before David Thomas put the Falcons ahead with a two-run base hit to center field, scoring Bast and Seth Kline and giving AFA just its second lead of the weekend.
UNLV battled back the following inning, starting with Shannon being hit by a pitch to lead the fifth off. Trent Cook drew a walk to put runners on first and second before Trevor Kirk laced a double to the gap in left center, clearing the bases and putting UNLV in front again, 4-3.
Jesse Garcia took over in relief of Borden in the seventh with one out and a runner on second. After getting Seth Kline to pop out to short, Garcia got Bast to fly out to right, working out of the jam.
Casey Gibson started the eighth with a single to center field and made his way to second following a Matt Thorne sacrifice bunt. David Baska came in to pinch run and scored from second off Brian Sicher’s single to right, tying the game at 4-4.
The Rebels had a chance in the eighth, with Kirk leading the inning off with a single to right and making his way to third before Remington Pullin grounded out to second to end the threat.
Hartman came in the ninth and sat the Air Force side in order, setting the second straight comeback win of the series fir UNLV.
The Rebels will be off until next weekend as they travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a weekend series with the Lobos.