Rebels To Travel To CSU Bakersfield

March 11, 2013

LAS VEGAS ( - No. 21 UNLV returns to the road on Tuesday as the Rebels will bus to Bakersfield, Calif. and face the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners. The Roadrunners, in their fourth year of existence, are off to a 10-5 start with wins over Nebraska and USC. The Roadrunners most recently took two-of-three games at UC Davis 

The No. 21 UNLV Rebels, who are coming off of a three-game sweep at then No. 9 Stanford, are ranked for the first time in a decade. The Rebels broke into Baseball America’s poll on Monday at No. 21 and was also ranked No. 24 by Perfect Game and No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball News. After receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association last week, UNLV is ranked No. 28 in this week’s poll.

Leading the Rebels from the plate this season is sophomore Erik VanMeetren. He is batting .385 and is tied for a team high, seven doubles. He also has 10 RBI this season. Senior Mark Shannon has started all 16 of the Rebels’ games and is hitting a .379. Shannon has also started two games for UNLV and owns a 1-0 record. He has a 1.29 ERA and has struck out 13 batters in 14 innings. Fellow senior Brandon Bayardi leads the team with two triples on the season and is hitting .369. Sophomoe Joey Swanner leads the team with 13 RBI.  From the mound, junior Buddy Borden (2-1) allowed his first earned run of the season after pitching 25.0 innings with allowing one. He currently a 0.64 ERA which is the best on the Rebel staff. He also leads team in strikeouts with 24. Sophomore Erick Fedde (3-0) sports a 2.25 ERA and is second on the team with 22 strikeouts in 24.0 innings. He went up against Stanford’s Mark Appel on Friday night and was able to get his third win of the season. John Richy had his best outing against Stanford, pitching a complete game, two-hitter to earn his second win of the year. From the bullpen, senior Andy Beresford has been the strongest pitcher, posting a 3-0 record to go along with a 1.08 ERA. He also has one save on the year.

CSU Bakersfield has gotten off to a strong start in 2013. They have wins over Nebraska and USC, which have helped them get to 10-5 on the year. Most recently the Roadrunners took two-of-three against UC Davis, winning the first two games of the series: 11-0 on Friday and 12-5 on Saturday. The Aggies were able to beat CSUB 3-2 on Sunday. The Roadrunners are playing in their first season of the Western Athletic Conference, a conference the Rebels dominated in the late 1990s. Leading CSUB this season is Dylan Christensen, who is hitting .414 and has started all 15 games for the Roadrunners. He also leads the team with 15 RBI on the year. Christensen has also pitched well for CSUB, leading the team with two saves and sports a 2.89 ERA in seven relief appearances. He had a 1.08 ERA coming into the weekend, but allowed one hit and two runs on Sunday, which brought his ERA up. The Roadrunners top starter is Johnathan Montoya, who owns a 2-1 record and has a 1.64 ERA to go along with a 11 strikeouts. Scott Brattvet leads the team with 20 strikeouts on the season. The Rebels are projected to face Taylor Aikenhead who is 2-1 on the year with a 3.32 ERA. He pitched in relief  against UC Davis on Saturday, allowing one hit and one walk in 1.0 inning pitched.

The Rebels hold a 2-0 advantage over the Roadrunners, who just started a baseball program in 2009. This will be UNLV’s first trip to CSU Bakersfield for a baseball game.

UNLV will return home to open conference play against New Mexico. The Rebels will play their three game series starting Friday, March 15 and will play through Sunday. After the series, UNLV will host former conference foe, BYU on Monday, March 18. It will be the first time in two years that the Rebels will play the Cougars.