May 13, 2006
LAS VEGAS - UNLV rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring three runs to beat New Mexico, 11-10 on senior day at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. The loss, the Lobos' seventh straight to the Rebels dating back to last season, drops them to 28-23 overall and 10-8 in the Mountain West Conference.
It was a back-and-forth game, as the Lobos scored four runs in the top of the third inning to break a 2-2 tie and move ahead 6-2 behind a solo home run by sophomore third baseman Ian Hollick and a three-run shot by senior shortstop Ryan Barba following an error that would have gotten the Rebels out of the inning giving up only one run.
The Rebels answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, as Braden Walker hit a run-scoring single and Zach Borba added a two-run double to pull UNLV within one at 6-5.
From there the teams would trade runs in each of the next three innings heading into the eighth.
UNLV's CJ Lang knocked in the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning and then Keith Smith drove in Lang with a double to center field that pushed the Rebels in front at 10-9. Chris Bonnell followed with a single to score Smith and cap the three-run rally, putting UNLV up 11-9 heading into the top of the ninth.
New Mexico threatened to tie the game after junior center fielder Matt Foote scored a run with two outs on an error by Rebel centerfielder Ryan Kowalski, the eighth of the game between the two teams. But following the error Rebel right-hander Matt Luca got a ground out to end the game.
Hollick led the Lobos, finishing 4-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored while Barba was 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore catcher Drew McDonald drew two walks which led to him scoring a team-high two runs. Lang and Smith were both 3-for-5 with a RBI and run scored while Borba drove in a team-high three runs and Bonnell scored a team-high three runs.
Luca earned the win, going 5 innings in relief for three hits, four runs (two earned), two walks and three strikeouts. Freshman Chad Itokazu (2-4) suffered the loss, allowing four htis for three runs in 1 inning. Junior Danny Ray Herrera started the game for New Mexico, giving up 11 hits, eight runs (three earned), three walks and four strikeouts in 7 innings.
UNLV and New Mexico wrap up their series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. (PDT) and fans can also listen live on KSHP 1400 AM with Jon Sandler handling the play-by-play. Senior Nate Melek (5-6, 7.25 ERA) is slated to throw for the Lobos.