Rebels Fight Off Bison To Avoid Elimination
courtesy of UNLV Athletics
CORVALLIS, Ore. - UNLV baseball (36-24) fought off elimination in the NCAA tournament by beating North Dakota State (25-26) 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
T.J. White led off the game with a single up the middle for the Rebels, advanced to second on a hit-and-run and stole third. He would score a manufactured run after Patrick Armstrong grounded out. Morgan Stotts then hit a two-out home run, which would end up being the winning run.
The Bison opened the home half of the first inning with a double to centerfield. The runner advanced to third on a single and then scored on a sacrifice fly two batters later.
That would be the end of the scoring for either side in the game, as both pitching staffs settled in.
After allowing two hits to lead off the game, UNLV’s Bryan Bonnell (7-5) faced 22 more hitters, one over the minimum, en route to the win. Bonnell struck out three and induced four double plays, a season high for the Rebels, over 7.0 innings of work.
Bonnell opened the eighth inning with a walk, his third of the game, and UNLV handed the ball to its closer Brayden Torres. Torres allowed one hit and worked out of a the one-out jam with a runner at third by striking out one and inducing a pop up to the first baseman in foul territory.
The Bison then led off the ninth inning with a single and a one-out walk put the winning run aboard. Torres then forced back-to-back ground balls to the left side of the infield to secure his ninth save of the year and keep the Rebels’ season alive.
Stotts, T.J. White, Erik VanMeetren, Edgar Montes and Dylan Ellis each recorded a hit for UNLV in the game.
The Rebels will play the loser of the nightcap at Goss Stadium between host and top-seeded Oregon State and UC Irvine on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. PT. Fans will be able to watch on WatchESPN.com or can listen to the game on ESPN 1100/98.9 FM.