Wolf Pack Takes Sunday's Series Finale|
May 13, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV baseball team (32-20, 13-14 MW) held a 3-1 lead through two innings of play, but was done in by six runs over the fifth and sixth innings in a 12-4 loss to the UNR Wolf Pack (27-21, 18-8 MW) Sunday in Mountain West play. Despite the defeat, UNLV won the weekend series, 2-1; however, the season series sits tied at 3-3.
After combining to leave three runs on base in the first inning, the teams were able to push four runs across in the second. UNR got on the scoreboard first with the first of its three sacrifice flies, while UNLV answered with a solo home run from Nick Ames as well as an RBI single from Seth Mullis and a sac fly from Dillon Johnson.
The Wolf Pack pulled within one in the third with a sac fly from Mike Echavia, who added five more RBI with run-scoring hits in the fifth and eighth and a three-run homer in the sixth. For the game, Echavia was 3-for-4 with six RBI and three runs scored.
UNR scored three in the fifth off a pair of hits and a sac fly, and added three more in the sixth off Echavia's homer. The lead ballooned to nine runs off two more RBI hits and a two-run homer.
Max Smith got one run back for UNLV in the home half of the eighth off a sac fly.
UNR starting pitcher Jake Jackson (8-3) earned the win in 8.0 innings of work with four strikeouts against four runs off of nine hits and two walks. Jackson forced the Rebels strand six base runners, three of which came in the second inning alone.
Rebel starter Chase Maddux (3-7) absorbed the loss after throwing 4.1 innings and allowing four runs off of six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. UNLV used six relievers, but they combined to surrender eight runs off of nine hits and three walks.
THE TURNING POINT: The Rebels looked like they were going to blow the game open in the second when five of their first six batters reached base safely, and two of those scored off Ames' homer and Johnson's sac fly. Kyle Isbel took a two-out walk to load the bases, but Jackson was able to get a fly out to end the threat.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Smith went 3-for-5 with one triple and four RBI. He was the main catalyst for UNLV outscoring UNR 7-4 between the fourth and seventh innings.
STAT OF THE GAME: Rebel third baseman Dillon Johnson went 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI. Johnson was perfect in the field with five assists.
QUOTABLE: "We got the seniors in, but not the way we wanted to, unfortunately," said head coach Stan Stolte. "We had a chance to put some distance between us early but we didn't. Their top four hitters pretty much had their way today; we'd walk a guy, they'd dink one in and then they'd hammer one. It was a good weekend getting two from a good opponent, but we are going to be tested again in Fresno this week. Every game is a playoff game from here on out if we want to keep playing."
GOVERNOR'S SERIES UPDATE: UNLV and UNR sit deadlocked at 3-3 after Sunday's contest. The three points associated with the sport in the Governor's Series presented by NV Energy and Barrick Gold will have to wait to be decided; whether it be next weekend or at the Mountain West Tournament. To date, the all-encompassing athletic and academic challenge is led by UNLV who has a six-point advantage, 24-18, after its women's track & field team had a better finish at this weekend's MW Outdoor Championships. The three points for the APR also will be awarded to one side soon.
TOURNAMENT WATCH 2018: With one weekend left in the regular season, UNR (18-8) and San Diego State (17-10) have clinched spots in the Mountain West Tournament, which is scheduled for May 24-27 in San Diego. As of Sunday evening, the race for the final two spots in the postseason tourney are within reach of three squads (UNLV (13-14), San Jose State (13-14) and Air Force (12-14)) and almost out of the grasp of one (sixth place - Fresno State/11-16). UNLV will play three at Fresno State, while Air Force travels to San Jose State. Stay tuned ...
UP NEXT: UNLV will hit the road to close out the regular season and its Mountain West slate of games with a trip to Fresno State. The three-game series begins Thursday night with first pitch set for 6:05 pm. The set continues Friday and Saturday at 6:05 pm and 2:05 pm, respectively.