Rebels Set To Host Falcons

March 28, 2013


LAS VEGAS ( – The UNLV Rebels (17-8, 2-4) will return home to host Air Force (8-15, 2-2) for a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6:05 p.m. The two teams will play again on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and then wrap up the series with a rare Easter Sunday game at 1:05 p.m. This will be the first time since 2006 that UNLV will play on Easter. The Rebels are coming off of a four-game weekend in San Diego, Calif., where they went 1-3 on the weekend. The Falcons played only one game last weekend against Fresno State, as the Saturday and Sunday contests were canceled due to snow. Air Force played two mid-week games at Wichita State, losing both.  Free tickets will be provided all three days to any active military that want to attend the games.

Leading the Rebels from the plate this season is senior Mark Shannon. He is batting .343 and has a team-high 34 hits. He also is leads the team with 18 RBI and is tied for a team high seven doubles with Erik VanMeetren.  Shannon has also pitched well for the Rebels and owns a 3-1 record to go with a 2.38 ERA. He is third on the team with 28 strikeouts. Junior Buddy Borden (3-1) currently has a 1.31 ERA which is the best on the Rebel staff for starters. He also leads team in strikeouts with 34. Sophomore Erick Fedde (3-0) sports a 2.31 ERA and is second on the team with 33 strikeouts in 39.0 innings. From the bullpen, senior Andy Beresford has been the strongest pitcher, posting a 3-0 record to go along with a 0.73 ERA. He earned his fourth save of the year against San Diego State on Saturday.

Air Force (8-15, 2-2) started the season with five straight losses, as the Falcons were swept by the University of Texas-San Antonio and lost the first game of a four-game set with Navy. The team bounced back, splitting the series with the Midshipmen and then won 3-of-4 in the Snowbird Classic which was played in Punta Gorda, Fla. After that, the Falcons were swept by Gardner-Webb and lost 2-of-3 at Nevada, Reno. The team played its first game in Colorado Springs, Colo. on March 19 and split against Nebraska-Omaha. Their first conference home series was against Fresno State and the Falcons won the first game of the series. The next two games were snowed out. Earlier this week, USAFA lost two games at Wichita State.  Leading the Falcons from the plate is Peter Johnson with a .355 batting average. Johnson also is tied with Seth Kline for a team-high 15 RBI. Kline is second on the team in batting average with .353. From the mound, Air Force is  led by Cameron White, who owns a 2.89 ERA to go along with his 2-4 record. He has started six games this season and has pitched two complete games. In 46.2 innings pitched, he has struck out 29 and has only walked two. Leading the team in strikeouts is Ben Bertelson with 46. Bertelson is 1-2 on the year with a 5.13 ERA and is scheduled to face the Rebels on Saturday. The probable starter against UNLV on Sunday is Steven Trojan, who is 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA.

Since 2008, UNLV has faced Air Force 18 times and has lost only five of those matchups. In that time period, UNLV has only lost one of those games at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. Overall, UNLV is 76-22 against the Falcons but at home the Rebels are 52-8. Since the turn of the century, UNLV has only lost twice to Air Force on Roger Barnson Field.

After the Air Force series, UNLV will have four full days between games as the Rebels will not play a mid-week game for the first time this season. The following weekend, UNLV will travel to Fresno State and play the Bulldogs for the first time since 1999.

This will be the first time since 2006 that UNLV has played a game on Easter Sunday.  The Rebels last faced TCU in Fort Worth, Texas on the holiday. UNLV is 6-3 all time and is 3-0 against Air Force when playing on Easter.