Late Innings Hurt Rebels
April 23, 2010
FORT WORTH, Texas - UNLV baseball held a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, but No. 8 TCU scored 13 runs over the final three innings in a 15-5 win on Friday night at Lupton Stadium.
It was the first matchup of the season against a ranked opponent for the Rebels, and they dropped them to 21-16 and 5-5 in the Mountain West Conference, while the Horned Frogs improved to 28-8 and 9-3 in league games. Over the first five-and-a-half innings UNLV held a 5-2 advantage, but in their last three at-bats, the Horned Frogs scored five in the sixth, and then four each in the seventh and eighth.
UNLV jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Brandon Bayardi singled and then Travis Feiner walked, setting up the inning. Following a strikeout, Nolan Clark singled through the right side to score one, and then Cash Thomas doubled down the right-field line to plate the second run of the inning. The final run of the frame game home to score on a ground out, and the Rebels had the early lead.
TCU brought home two runs in the bottom of the third with two outs in part of an error by Bayardi, but then the Rebels got those two back in the top of the sixth when Clark doubled to right-center, bringing home Kris Kaplan and Feiner.
That set up UNLV starter Tanner Peters in a solid position to help his team pick up the road upset, but the Horned Frogs chased him in the bottom of the frame, scoring five runs to go ahead 7-5. TCU used four hits and an error during the rally to take a lead it would not give up, the big blow a two-run double off the bat of Jerome Pena with one out that gave his team the lead.
That ended Peters' night, and the Rebels went to Brady Zuniga, who got the last two outs of the inning but then ran into trouble himself after the seventh-inning stretch.
After getting two outs to open the frame, Zuniga gave up two singles and then an error loaded the bases, and the Horned Frogs took advantage to put the game out of reach. Pena drew a walk for the first run and then Zuniga hit a batter to force in the second run of the inning, and Max Javate came in to try and get the final out of the inning for the Rebels. He gave up a two-run single by Taylor Featherston that made the score 11-5.
The Horned Frogs would add four runs in the bottom of the eighth to cap the scoring.
Peters (4-3) took the loss for the Rebels, giving up seven runs, five earned, on seven hits while striking out nine and three in 5.1 innings of work. TCU starter Matt Purke (6-0) earned the win, giving up the five runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking three as well.
Clark and Drew Beuerlein each had a pair of hits for the Rebels, and they collected nine on the evening while also committing three errors. TCU finished with 13 hits and one error, and Bryan Holaday and Jason Coats each had a trio of base hits.
UNLV and TCU continue their series on Saturday, with the first pitch set for 2:00 p.m. (PT) and fans can watch the game live on the Mtn., and also listen live on KSHP 1400 AM.
UNLV SCHEDULE NOTES: Sunday's game time has been changed to 10:30 a.m. (PT) and UNLV's upcoming home game against UC Riverside on Tuesday has been changed to 6:00 p.m. (PT) at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.