Rebels Travel To Pacific

Feb. 20, 2013


LAS VEGAS ( - UNLV (3-1) will take its first road trip of the 2013 seaons this week, leaving on Wednesday, February 20 for Stockton, Calif. The Rebels will have another four-game weekend, facing the Pacific Tigers (1-2) and the Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-2). The weekend starts early, with a Thursday game against Paciffic at 6:00 p.m. UNLV will play a doubleheader on Friday, February 22, starting with Gonzaga at 1:00 p.m. and then against Pacific at 6:00 p.m. The weekend wraps up on Saturday against Gonzaga at noon. The road trip will also be a homecoming of sorts for the Armstrong brothers. They are from Woodbridge, Calif., which is about 15 miles north of Pacific’s campus.

Erik Van Meetren went 5-of-12 (.417) against Tennessee with two doubles and two RBI to lead the Rebels with in batting average. Joey Swanner saw the most at-bats (21) and recorded the most hits (8), which are both tops in the Mountain West, giving him the second best average on the team (.381). He recorded four RBI, which is tied for the most on the team with Joey Armstrong, and is also on a 18-game hitting streak, dating back to last season. From the mound, Buddy Borden has the best outing, pitching 7.2 innings, allowing no earned runs on four hits, earning his first win of the season. Mark Shannon also pitched well, going 7.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out eight. Andy Beresford had the best relief outing, pitching a total of 4.0 innings in two appearances. He allowed no runs on four hits and recorded five strikeouts en route to picking up his first two wins of the season.

Pacific is coming off of a series against San Jose State, where the Tigers were only able to get one win. The win came behind a Michael Benson’s 6.0 inning shutout performance. Benson allowed seven hits and struck out one as the Tigers won 8-1 at home. They opened the season with losses at San Jose State before hosting the Spartans. Erik Lockwood led the Tigers from the plate, going 6-of-11 in the first three games with one RBI. Dustin Torchio hit Pacific’s lone homerun in its win on Sunday.

The Rebels and Tigers matched up fairly consistently in the 1980s and 90s.  The two teams have played each other a total of 47 times, but haven’t faced each other since 1996, which was the last time that UNLV was in Stockton, Calif. to play the Tigers. Overall, UNLV holds a 28-19 advantage and are 11-9 when playing in Stockton, Calif. Seven of the matchups have needed extra innings to decide a winner.

Gonzaga kicked off its 2013 season in Palm Springs, Calif. at the Palm Springs Tournament that featured Utah Valley, UC Riverside and Oregon State. The Bulldogs split the tournament going 2-2 with wins against UC Riverside and Utah Valley, while losing to Utah Valley and Oregon State. Travis Forbes leads the Zags from the plate, as he was 6-of-13 in the tournament. Gonzaga has four players that are hitting better than .300 on the season, with at least 10 at bats. Tyler Olson fared the best from the mound, pitching 5.0 innings, allowing no runs and striking out seven en route to his first win of the season. All-American Marco Gonzales  started against Oregon State and was tagged for eight hits over 6.0 innings. He allowed five earned runs but was able to strike out five. From the plate Gonzales is 5-of-16 with two RBI and has struck out three times, which is tied for a team-high.

UNLV and Gonzaga played frequently threw the 1970s and 80s, but have not faced each other since 1989. Gonzaga leads the overall series 12-11, but UNLV has won the last six matchups.

The Rebels will return home to host the Rebel Classic. It will be the first time in since 2002 that UNLV has hosted a tournament. Taking part in the 2013 Rebel Classic will be Loyola Marymount, Hawai’i and Bradley. The tournament opens on Thurday, February 28th and will be played through Sunday, March 3rd. The Rebels will also play one more game on Monday March 4th against Hawai’i.