Rebels Overpowered Early By Anteaters|
April 25, 2016
IRVINE, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - Just one day after it concluded a weekend series in Fullerton, the UNLV baseball team headed 20 miles south for a Monday matinee at Anteater Ballpark against the UC Irvine Anteaters (23-14). Unfortunately, the visiting Rebels did not fare so well, as they suffered a 15-2 defeat in their fourth straight contest against a foe from the Big West Conference.
The ‘Eaters broke the game open with back-to-back four-run outbursts in the second and third innings after a scoreless opening frame. They kept their offense revving through the seventh inning, as they scored at least one run between the fourth and seventh.
UCI pushed out to its 8-0 lead – through three – with help from four hits in both the second and third stanzas. Jonathan Munoz and Matt Reitano were responsible for the first four spot, as each produced a 2-run home run off UNLV starter Ryan Hare (1-2). In the third, the ‘Eaters got runs off a pair of doubles from Keston Hiura (one run) and Evan Cassolato (two) as well as another from a defensive miscue.
The hosts stuck with the extra-base theme from the fourth through the seventh with four of its final five run-scoring hits going for at least a double (three doubles and one home run). Mitchell Holland had two of those two-base knocks, as the first plated two runs in the fourth and the second was responsible for one in the seventh – UCI’s 15th and final tally. In the fifth, Wyatt Castro knocked in two with a double, while Cole Kreuter notched a two-run homer. Cassolato’s RBI single in the sixth was the only hit not to go for two bases in this stretch.
“Our pitching never gave us a chance and then the offense followed suit and shut down,” said head coach Stan Stolte. “To follow a nice win Sunday against Cal State Fullerton with today’s performance is unacceptable regardless if it’s a midweek game. The wind was blowing straight out and hard, but that’s no excuse to pitch the way we did.”
The Rebels were able to score their runs in the sixth and seventh with an RBI off a double Cooper Esmay and a groundout by Max Smith, respectively.
A.J. VanMeetren was the lone Rebel to notch a multiple-hit effort with two hits in three at-bats. UCI, on the other hand, had six of its own scatter two or more hits with Holland atop the list with a perfect 4-for-4 day that manufactured three runs and three RBI. Cassolato also knocked in three RBI, while Kreuter, Munoz and Reitano had two apiece.
Hare was tagged with the loss after he threw two-plus innings, and allowed six runs off of six hits. He was one of five pitchers used by the Rebels in the affair, as Blaze Bohall (two innings), Larry Quaney (two), Christian Myers (one) and Paul Richy (one) also saw action.
UCI starter Chris Vargas (2-1) picked up the win in four innings of action. Vargas struck out five against two hits and two walks. Three relievers that combined to throw the final five frames followed him to the mound.
UNLV will return to Las Vegas for a couple days before it heads back out on the road. The Rebels will jump back into Mountain West Conference play with a three-game series at San Jose State that will begin Friday, April 29 (6:00 pm) and run through Sunday, May 1 (1:00 pm). Saturday’s contest is slated for a 2:00 pm first pitch.
Prior to the road trip, “The First Pitch with Stan Stolte and Dug Dugless” will take place at Hooters Casino Hotel at noon Wednesday. Fans are welcome to attend the one-hour radio show that is also broadcast live on NBC Sports Radio – 920 The Game and presented by Findlay Kia.
The Scarlet & Gray will, finally, make its way back to Las Vegas for eight home games in a span of 11 days. The lengthy run begins on May 3 against UC Irvine (2:05 pm) and it will be followed by visits from New Mexico (May 6-8), Arizona State (May 10) and Fresno State (May 13-15). Fans should check UNLVTickets.com for upcoming promotions and ticket sales.