May 27, 2004
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - A week after the New Mexico baseball team rallied to defeat UNLV in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Rebels returned the favor to the Lobos Thursday afternoon in the second round of the Mountain West Conference Baseball Tournament. Third-seeded UNLV broke a 9-9 tie in the top of the ninth to run away with a 15-9 victory over second-seeded UNM. The Lobos, who received a first-round bye, now drop to the loser's bracket of the six-team, double-elimination tournament, and will play Air Force Thursday night at approximately 7 p.m. PT.
With the game knotted at 9 heading into the last frame, UNLV exploded for six runs on six hits to break the game open. Andrew D'Angelo started the scoring with a bases-loaded RBI single, and the runs kept coming as Zeke Parraz singled in a run, Eric Nielsen walked with the bases juiced, and Brent Johnson hit a sacrifice fly. Eddie Gill capped the big inning with a two-run double to right field.
UNLV set a Mountain West Tournament record with 22 hits in the game, including a 6-for-6 performance by Parraz, which also established a new MWC tournament mark.
The Lobos also showed up at the plate, cracking 15 hits. Josh Mader led the charge by going 4-for-5 with a two-run homer in the second. Matt Young, Matt Foote, Daniel Stovall and Ryan Barba each collected two hits for UNM, and Sean Murray hit a solo shot in the fifth.
UNM and UNLV traded leads throughout the close contest. The Rebels got on the board first with two runs in the second, but New Mexico responded with six runs in the bottom half of the inning. In addition to Mader's two-run homer, Chris Dabbs and Foote had run-scoring hits in the inning.
UNLV cut the lead to 6-5 with three in the third, but again UNM answered with a run in the bottom half on an Dabbs RBI groundout to make it 7-5.
Both teams held ground with one run in the fifth. The Rebels finally broke through with three runs in the seventh to go up 9-8. UNM tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a Joe Salas RBI double.
Matt Minor of UNLV pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to improve his record to 4-2. Salas (4-2), who struggled with his control, gave up seven runs on six hits while walking three in 2 1/3 innings of relief.