Strong Stymies Seattle In Series Opener|
April 28, 2017
BELLEVUE, Washington (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV baseball team (17-28) maintained its winning ways Friday night in the first game of a nonconference series against the Seattle Redhawks (13-26-1) at Bannerwood Park. The Rebels scored three runs in the second inning and never looked back en route to their 4-3 victory – their third straight over teams from the Pacific Northwest.
The Scarlet & Gray’s three-game winning streak, which includes two wins over Portland, can be greatly attributed to quality starting pitching, as each starter – Corey Wilson, Paul Richy and tonight’s hurler Alan Strong (5-4) – has issued zero walks, thrown a minimum of six innings and limited the opposition to no more than two runs during this span.
Strong (5-4) notched his fifth win of the season after throwing seven innings and striking out six Redhawks. He allowed two runs off of eight hits.
Additionally, UNLV’s relief pitchers have been just as impressive on the mound. Blaze Bohall and Bryan Menendez have appeared in all three of this week’s triumphs and thrown an inning apiece in each contest. Bohall, who struck out one, threw the eighth against SU and gave up one unearned run off of one hit. Menendez entered in the ninth and preserved the win with three quick outs – the last two via strikeout – to record his fifth save of the year.
“Strong came out with a great bounce-back outing,” said head coach Stan Stolte. “Anytime he goes deep into the game it, obviously, improves our chances for success. Bohall and Menendez did a great job closing it up with two solid innings. Offensively, we checked out from the third though the eighth inning, but we scored enough runs to win, so we’ll take it.”
The Rebels opened the scoring in the second inning off an RBI groundout by Bryson Stott. Justin Jones scored on the play after he led off the frame with a single and made his way around the bases with a stolen base and a double by Cody Howard. Nick Ames followed with a deep fly to right field that was ruled an error when it was deemed to have been misplayed by SU’s Chase Wells. Howard scored on Ames’ play while the latter came home off an RBI single by Austin Anderson.
The Redhawks answered back in the second when Dalton Hurd hit a solo home run to left field. Hurd had a hand in the team’s second run, which came in the fourth. Moments after Wells led off the stanza with a double, Hurd put down a sacrifice bunt to move his teammate to third. The runner scored one batter later off a sacrifice fly.
The two sides exchanged runs in the eighth. Ernie De La Trinidad scored UNLV’s fourth run off an RBI double by Jones after he had led off by getting hit by a 2-2 pitch from SU starter Jake Prizina (4-2). The Redhawks pulled back within one off a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Wells.
Prizina was saddled with the loss after he gave up four runs (three earned) off of five hits in seven innings.
The series continues Saturday at Bannerwood Park with first pitch slated for 5:00 pm. Sunday’s finale is scheduled to begin at 12:00 pm, and it will mark the conclusion of nonconference play for the Rebels this season.
UNLV will resume Mountain West action at home against the Fresno State Bulldogs May 5-7.
NOTES: De La Trinidad extended his reached-base streak to 38 games … With two hits, Jones recorded his 18th multiple-hit game of the season, and sits one behind Isbel and De La Trinidad’s team-best 19 … UNLV picked up its fifth win of the year when it scores five or less runs, and three of these victories have occurred this week … UNLV improved to 14-8 when it limits the opposition to five or less runs in a game … UNLV improved to 7-5 in one-run games this season.