The UNLV Baseball team defeated Fresno State with a late rally Saturday morning, scoring six runs over the seventh innings to gain a lead (7-3), and ultimately secure their victory. The Rebels’ 9-6 triumph completed the three-game series sweep of the Bulldogs, after winning Friday’s doubleheader with scores of 9-5 and 10-9.
Both teams returned to the field today, prepared to battle, after playing 19 grueling innings yesterday. Neither team was able to score any runs until the fourth inning when Andrew Kachel hit a 2-run home run for the Bulldogs.
Rebels pitcher Noah Beal kept the Fresno bats quiet in the fifth, striking out the side. In the bottom of the inning, Myles Denson stepped up to bat and hit a solo home run, finally putting the Rebels on the board.
"[Fresno’s] pitcher was pretty good. We just know you have to wait things out and hope he tires a little bit or lets up,” Head Coach Stan Stolte said. “We start making adjustments, it’s kinda normal- he’s a really good pitcher and we had a hard time hitting.”
Heading into the bottom of the seventh, UNLV found themselves trailing by two runs, 3-1. That’s when the offense managed to spring back to life, scoring six runs off six hits, with help from a pair of Bulldog fielding errors. The comeback started with back-to-back singles off the Bulldogs starter Jamison Hill. Myles Denson followed behind with an RBI double, and then Austin Kryszczuk hit a single. Later in the inning, UNLV continued to add to their lead with a pair of doubles from Rylan Charles and Diego Alarcon.
"Obviously, that’s what we needed. I think he got a little tired and we had some great advances,” Coach Stolte said. “It was a hard-fought grilling weekend, the kids are beat up and tired so we’re going to give them a couple of days.”
The Bulldogs rallied in the eighth inning with two runs, to tighten the gap at 7-5. Ryan Higgins hit a 2 run homer, also scoring Kachel.
The Rebels answered back in the bottom of the eighth. Eric Bigani hit a solo home run, followed by a two-out RBI from James Gamble as they reestablished the four-run lead at 9-5.
Fresno State managed to load the bases in the ninth inning, but only one run crossed the plate.
The Rebels now get a two-week break, to rest and focus on minor tweaks, before facing San Jose State in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 17. Starting times for all three games that weekend have not been determined.