UNLV Comes Back to Defeat Aztecs in 17-Inning Contest
April 20, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - UNLV scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 17th inning and came away with a 9-8 victory over San Diego State in the opening game of their weekend series in Las Vegas. It completed a Rebels' comeback in which they rallied from a five-run deficit over the final three innings of regulation and prevailed in a contest that lasted just over five hours.
The 17 frames tied for the longest game in Aztec history (by innings) with contests against Cal State Northridge in 1972 and Loyola Marymount in 1985 going the same distance. The result in those contests was the same as Friday night with SDSU coming up on the short end of the final score in both previous 17-inning affairs.
With the victory UNLV improved to 25-12 overall and 9-7 in the Mountain West as it moved to within a game of the second-place Aztecs. SDSU, meanwhile, saw its record fall to 19-18 overall and 10-6 in conference play.
The game began well enough for the Aztecs as they took the lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Ryan Muno.
A pair of home runs by Brad Haynal, a three-run shot in the third and a two-run bomb in the fifth, helped the Aztec build an 8-3 lead after six innings.
Aztec starting pitcher Michael Cederoth struggled with his command, but still managed to strike out 10 over his 6.2 innings of work. He allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks. He left the contest with an 8-4 lead, but would not be involved in the decision.
A key moment in the game came in the top of the eighth after the Rebels had scored three in the seventh and cut SDSU's lead to 8-6. The Aztecs loaded the bases with one out only to see Rebel reliever Brady Zuniga induce Ryan Muno to hit into a double play to end the inning.
UNLV then closed to within a run in the bottom of the frame on a solo home run by Matt McCallister, his first of the season. The Rebels tied it in the ninth on a two-out double by Erik Vanmeetren off closer Bubba Derby.
Derby who had come one with one out in the eighth, would toss 5.2 innings allowing the one run on two hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. He would give way to senior Ethan Miller to begin the bottom of the 14th.
Miller breezed through his first three innings, but after a strikeout to begin the bottom of the 17th, he surrendered three straight walks to load the bases. With the infield playing in, UNLV's T.J. White hit a grounder to second that Tim Zier grabbed just to his right. His throw to the plate, however, one-hopped catcher Jake Romanski who was unable to scoop it and the winning run crossed the plate.
John Richy (3-3), who tossed the final three innings for the Rebels, was credited with the win while Miller (3-3) took the loss.
Three Aztecs ended the night with three hits apiece including Matt Muñoz (double), Ty France and Tim Zier (RBI). Brad Haynal accounted for five of the Aztecs' RBIs in the contest with Ryan Muno driving in a pair.
SDSU and UNLV will continue their weekend series on Saturday (April 20) with a game schedule for a 2:05 p.m. start at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.