Aztecs Fall to Late UNLV Rally in 4-3 Loss
April 20, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - UNLV scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to grab its first lead of the day and went on to record a 4-3 victory over San Diego State Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas. With the win, the Rebels improved to 26-12 overall and 10-7 in the Mountain West as they moved into a tie for second place with SDSU.
The Aztecs, who wasted a fine pitching performance from senior Ryan Doran, were unable to solve Rebel starter Buddy Borden (5-1), who came within one batter of a complete-game effort despite throwing 141 pitches in the contest.
San Diego State took an early lead in the game with a run in the opening frame. A single by Tim Zier and a walk to Ryan Muno were followed by a two-out fly ball to center off the bat of Brad Haynal that UNLV outfielder Mark Shannon list in the high sky. The ball fell untouched with Haynal credited with an RBI single.
The Aztecs made it 2-0 in the top of the seventh when Ty France walked and was sacrificed to second by Matt Muñoz. A single by Steve Pallares set the stage for Evan Potter to execute the hit-and-run with a ball through the right side that scored France and sent Pallares to third with one out. Greg Allen then lofted a fly ball down the left field line that was caught in foul territory by Joey Swanner, who threw home to get Pallares trying to score.
Doran, meanwhile, was keeping the UNLV offense in check through the first six innings allowing just three base runners and striking out four. He began to tire in the seventh when he surrendered a run on three hits and a walk, but got out of a bases-loaded situation as SDSU maintained the lead at 2-1.
Just as was the case in the 17-inning loss on Friday, walks would play a part in the Rebel's comeback in the bottom of the eighth. With Tyler Sapp on in relief of Doran to begin the inning, the Rebels got a single, sacrifice bunt and walk to put two men on with one out.
Mitch Bluman then came on from the bullpen, but he issued a walk to load the bases. That brought on senior reliever Travis Pitcher, who fared little better as he walked his first hitter to force in the tying run. UNLV pinch hitter Erik Vanmeetren then laced a single to left field to drive home two runs and give the home side a 4-2 lead.
The Aztecs pulled a run back in the ninth on a two-out walk to Muñoz and RBI single by Pallares to end Borden's afternoon. Tyler Iodence then came on to get the final out and secure the win as he picked up his third save. SDSU's Sapp took the loss to fall to 0-3 on the season.
San Diego State was held to six singles on the afternoon with Zier and Pallares recording two apiece. Pallares, along with Haynal and Potter, each drove in a run for the Aztecs.
SDSU and UNLV will wrap up their conference series on Sunday, April 21, with a contest slated to begin at 1:05 p.m. at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.