May 9, 2014
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) – UNLV baseball (30-18/17-8 Mountain West) used strong pitching to defeat San Diego State (33-17/13-12 MW) 6-1 in its series opener on Friday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Junior John Richy (9-3) picked up his league-leading ninth victory of the year after he allowed one run on four hits in 8.0 innings of work. He also struck out five Aztecs and did not allow a walk.
SDSU struck first by scoring one in the first inning. The Aztecs recorded two hits in the frame, but it would be the only hits they would record until the sixth inning as Richy and the Rebels retired 15 straight batters.
The Rebels tied the game in the third when Joey Armstrong hit a towering shot to left field. It was his third home run of the season.
UNLV broke the tie in the seventh inning and took a 5-1 lead after posting four runs, all of which came with two outs, in the frame. Patrick Armstrong drove in the first two runs, singling through the left side with the bases loaded, driving in Johnathan Torres and Joey Armstrong. Justin Jones then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Morgan Stotts single up the middle. Erik VanMeetren hit the team’s third consecutive single to right-center field, which scored Pat Armstrong from second.
The Rebels added an insurance run in the eighth when Jones hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Matt McCallister from third.
Richy left the game in the ninth inning after the Aztecs recorded a leadoff single. Joey Lauria came in for relief and struck out Tim Zier and Ty France, the top-two hitters in San Diego State’s lineup, and induced a fly ball to right field, which was caught by Edgar Montes, to end the game.
UNLV was led by Erik VanMeetren, who finished 3-for-4 in the game. Joey Armstrong (2-for-4), Morgan Stotts (2-for-5) and Matt McCallister (2-for-4) also finished with multiple hits in the game.
The Rebels and Aztecs will play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m.