Rebels Season Comes To A Close Saturday|
May 20, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV baseball team concluded the 2017 campaign with a 10-6 loss to the San Jose State Spartans in Mountain West play at Earl E. Wilson Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Rebels fell behind by six through 3.5 frames of action and were unable to get any closer than four runs – the final margin of victory – to the Spartans in the contest.
The visitors from the Bay Area scored three times in the second, once in the third and twice in the fourth before UNLV’s offense answered with a run of its own – an RBI ground out by Cody Howard – in the bottom of the fourth.
“In regards to today’s game, we just didn’t pitch well enough,” said head coach Stan Stolte. “We can chase 2-3 runs, but six is difficult to do. We had some hard hit balls early in the game that were caught that just never allowed us to get any momentum. I couldn’t be any prouder of the four seniors. They were as mature and accountable as any kids that I’ve had the pleasure to coach. Without a doubt, they will be so successful in the real world.”
Both squads scored twice in the sixth with SJSU getting its tallies off a pair of RBI singles while the Rebels were a result of back-to-back RBI base hits. Payton Squier led the frame off with a double and later scored when Howard tripled to left field. Howard made his way home four pitches later when Bryson Stott hit a grounder to the shortstop.
The Spartans managed to score two more in the eighth off an RBI double and a bases-loaded walk.
Facing a seven-run deficit – 10-3 – entering its final at-bat, UNLV found a late surge with a pair of two-out home runs from Nick Rodriguez and De La Trinidad. The former’s shot was of the pinch-hit variety that cleared the fence in left field while the latter’s was a blast that flew over the 400-feet sign in center field. Cooper Esmay scored on De La Trinidad’s dinger after he had kept the inning alive with a double down the third-base line.
SJSU starter Joseph Balfour (1-4) earned the win in eight innings of work. Balfour struck out five against three runs, 10 hits and one walk. He gave way to teammate Graham Gomez, who got the first two outs in the ninth, but Zach Tanner was given the ball to close the game; however, he was touched for three runs off of four hits in the ninth.
UNLV starter Paul Richy (4-4) was tagged with the loss after he allowed six runs off of six hits and three walks. Richy was followed to the mound by teammates Corey Wilson, Christian Myers, Blaze Bohall and Bryan Menendez. The quartet of relievers combined to give up four runs (two earned) off of five hits.
Prior to the game, the baseball program recognized its four outgoing seniors – Esmay, Howard, Jones and Corey Pool.