Rebels Sweep Away Lobos
May 14, 2006
LAS VEGAS - UNLV baseball outscored New Mexico 13-10 in a high-scoring game as the Rebels used 15 hits to complete the sweep of the Lobos on a balmy Mother's Day afternoon at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
The Rebels used two consecutive singles in the bottom of the seventh inning to score two runs, breaking a 10-10 tie in winning their fifth-straight game in front of 301 fans. Chad Miller hit the first single to score Ryan Kowalski with two outs in what proved to be the game-winning hit. The five wins in a row match the longest winning streak of the year for UNLV.
UNLV improved to 24-28 on the year and 9-10 in Mountain West Conference play and it marked the first time this year that the Rebels swept a three-game series from an opponent. Jabe Beard (4-1) picked up the win, tossing 2.2 perfect innings of baseball to close it out, including striking out the final two batters of the game. UNM dropped to 28-24 on the year, 10-9 in league play with Damon Miller (2-3) taking the loss, as he gave up the singles to Miller and Bird.
On a hot day that saw the temperature reach 103 during the game, UNM jumped out quickly, scoring four runs in the first inning off of Rebel starter Ryan Tabor. The big blow in the inning was a three-run home run by Matt Foote, but those three runs were unearned due to an error by Rebel second baseman CJ Lang that prolonged the inning.
In the bottom of the second the Rebels came storming back and took the lead by scoring five runs in the frame off of Lobo starter Nate Melek. Rebel sophomore Braden Walker drove in the first run of the rally with a double and then later in the inning Albert Zerega Jr. hit his first career home run, a three-run shot to left field that tied the game. UNLV went ahead one batter later on Lang's solo shot to left.
The Rebels scored two more runs in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Walker and then another run on a bases-loaded ground out by Zerega Jr. that made the score 7-4. After the Lobos got a run in the top of the fifth, UNLV tacked on three more in the bottom of the frame to extend its lead to 10-5.
Following a scoreless sixth UNM knotted the game at 10 in the top of the seventh as the Lobos batted around and used four straight hits to score their runs, all with just one out. Rebel head coach Buddy Gouldsmith went to the bullpen for the third pitcher used in the inning, but it was Beard, who ended the rally and kept the game tied.
The Rebels then moved back in front in the bottom of the seventh and then scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a run-scoring single by Keith Smith that capped the scoring. Although the Rebels scored 13 runs, the total could have been more, considering they left 12 runners on base in the game.
Smith finished the game going 3-5 with two RBI, Walker was also 3-5 with two RBI and a run scored and Zerega Jr. finished the game with four RBI, matching his career high. Eight of the nine Rebel starters had a hit on the afternoon.
In the series UNLV scored 36 runs on 42 hits, 15 of which went for extra bases. UNM was not far behind, scoring 28 runs on 38 hits.