Baseball Opens Season On Friday
Feb. 13, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The Rebels will open their 2013 season at home against the Tennessee Volunteers on Friday, February 15th at 6:05 p.m. It will be the first of a four-game series between the two. On Saturday, the two teams will play a doubleheader that will begin at 1:05 p.m. and on Sunday, first pitch will be at 1:05.
UNLV opens for the fifth time in six years its 2013 campaign at the friendly confines of Earl E. Wilson Stadium (last season the Rebels opened the year at Loyola Marymount). Of the home games in that stretch, UNLV is 3-1, only losing to Sacramento State in 2010. Overall, the Rebels are 29-17 in season openers and 21-12 in recorded home openers (missing locations of three games). Sophomore Erick Fedde will start make his first season-opening start for the Rebels. In 2012 he made his first start in the fourth game of the season.
SCOUTING THE REBELS
Coming into the 2013 season, the biggest hurdle for UNLV is its youth. The Rebels have 16 underclassmen compared to 13 upperclassmen. However the Rebels do return some key players on the mound and in the field. Erick Fedde returns atop the Rebel rotation. He finished 6-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 90.1 innings pitched. The best hitter in recent history, senior Brandon Bayardi, also returns for the Rebels. He averaged .361 last season with 53 RBI and seven home runs. He also led the Rebels in stolen bases with 12.
SCOUTING THE VOLUNTEERS
Like the Rebels, Tennessee is very young, only sporting two seniors on its roster. The Volunteers bring 18 freshmen and 21 overall newcomers into the 2013 season. The team does return its top hitter from 2012 in sophomore Will Maddox. He led the team in batting average (.297), hits (63), runs scored (32), total bases (79), stolen bases (14), at-bats (212) and on-base percentage (.374). Tennessee also returns its top pitcher from 2012. Senior Zach Godley made the most of his first year as a starting pitcher, sporting an ERA of 3.50 with 53 strikeouts with a record of 4-2 in 69.1 innings pitched. He dominated right-handed hitters, holding them to an average of .216.
Next up for the Rebels will be a trip to Stockton, Calif., where UNLV will face Pacific and Gonzaga. Play begins on Thursday, February 21 and continues through Saturday February 23 with a doubleheader on Friday.