Rebels Win Regular Season Finale 14-6|
May 18, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV baseball (36-18, 18-12 Mountain West) wrapped up its regular season with a 14-6 win that clinched the series against Air Force (15-37, 7-23 MW) on Saturday at Falcon Field.
The Rebels were pegged to finish fifth coming into the year by the preseason coaches’ poll, but they proved them wrong by finishing second in the conference and will have a first round bye at the Mountain West tournament next week.
“We only had seven conference wins last season and coming into this season we knew we were going to have some good players, but we didn’t know they were going to respond the way that they did,” head coach Tim Chambers said. “We had to grind down the stretch and win games to keep second place, but every time we had to win, we won. That’s what these guys have done all year.”
UNLV spoiled Air Force’s senior day by posting six runs in the first three innings. The first hit that Rebel starter John Richy allowed was a home run in the bottom of the third.
UNLV plated five runs between the fourth and fifth innings to take an 11-1 lead.
The Falcons scored two in the sixth before the Rebels scored two more in the seventh. Air Force answered with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and UNLV concluded the scoring by plating one run in the eighth inning.
As a team, the Rebels finished with 14 runs on 21 hits. It is the third time this year that the team has posted 20 or more hits in a game.
Richy (7-4) earned the win after allowing six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits while striking out six. Andrew Beresford came in for relief and finished the game allowing no runs on one hit and striking out one.
From the plate, Brandon Bayardi and Cody Howard each recorded four hits in the game to lead the Rebels. Bayardi hit his 10th home run in the seventh inning and finished 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored. Howard went 4-for-6 in the game and hit his first career triple in the sixth inning.
T.J. White finished 3-for-3 with one RBI and led the team with four runs scored. Patrick Armstrong (2-for-5), Mark Shannon (2-for-5), Joey Armstrong (2-for-6) and Matt McCallister (2-for-4) also finished the game with multiple hits.
UNLV will have a rare Sunday off before resuming practice on Monday. The Rebels will leave for the MW tournament on Tuesday morning and will practice at 4:45 p.m. in Fresno, Calif. on Tuesday night.
“I think we are playing our best baseball of the year right now,” Chambers said. “It is good to be playing well at the right time. We are looking to take this momentum in to the tournament and win the thing. But if we can win a couple games, I think we have a shot at an at-large bid, in my opinion and a lot of other people’s opinions. Overall I’m really proud of our guys and the hard work they have put into this season.”
All of the games will be broadcast live for free by the Mountain West Network through TheMWC.com. Links to watch the live video streams, as well as social media interaction, live stats, highlights, recaps, photo galleries and more will be available through the MW Championship Central page at http://www.themwc.com/champ/basebl-champ-2013.html.