Good To Be Home
May 6, 2008
LAS VEGAS - The friendly confines of Earl E. Wilson Stadium proved to be the cure for UNLV baseball, which beat Cal State Northridge 10-3 on Tuesday night, snapping the Rebels' six-game skid.
UNLV starter Matt Hutchison settled down and pitched five strong innings after giving up two runs in the first, collecting the win as the Rebels improved to 20-28 overall. The UNLV bullpen was just as solid, giving up just one run on four hits over the final four innings of play as Steve Rinaudo and Patrick Darrow combined to work the rest of the evening. CSUN dropped to 20-25 on the year, with Billy Ott (1-4) taking the loss as he gave up five runs over 4.2 innings on the mound.
The win came in front of 308 fans and it opened up UNLV's final homestand of the 2008 season, a five-game stretch that culminates with senior day on Sunday. It was the first time the Rebels had played at Wilson Stadium in over two weeks after playing their past nine on the road.
"We have been playing in a lot of close ball games in which we have got runners on base but have not been able to get them home and tonight we cashed in on opportunities," UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith said. "It was a good win for us and a good win for Hutchison, who settled down after the first inning and pitched well."
The Matadors opened the game scoring two runs in the first frame on an RBI ground out and then a single by Dominic D'Anna up the middle that plated another. In the inning Hutchison gave up the two runs on three hits, but over his next four innings he allowed just one more hit, keeping the Matadors off the board.
It didn't take long for UNLV to grab the lead, coming back in the bottom of the first to score three runs for a 3-2 advantage, one the Rebels would not relinquish.
J.J. Sferra started the rally with a double, moved to third base on a passed ball and then came across the plate on a single by Scotty Berke to left field. Jesse Wight singled with one out and after Berke and Wight moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, Rance Roundy drove them both in with a single.
The Rebels added to the lead with a run in the fourth on an RBI ground out by Jarred Frierson and another in the fifth on a Braden Walker run-scoring single. That pushed the lead to 5-2, and Xavier Scruggs tacked two more runs in a hurry in the sixth, drilling his 18th home run of the year, a two-run rocket over the left-field wall.
Scruggs finished the game with the with the two RBI on his home run and he also scored three runs, as he reached base on a walk and was also hit by a pitch. Walker had three hits on the evening for the Rebels, part of a 14-hit attack by the home team.
UNLV and CSUN wrap up their short series tomorrow, with the first pitch set for 1:00 p.m. (PT) at Wilson Stadium.