Rebels Set To Travel To Fresno State
April 4, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (20-8, 5-4 Mountain West) return to the road this weekend as they will travel to face Mountain West newcomer Fresno State (7-18, 2-5). It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1999. The Rebels are coming off of a three-game sweep of Air Force, which catapulted them from fifth in the conference to a tie for second, one game behind New Mexico. The Bulldogs lost two of three to Nevada, Reno last weekend, only taking the Friday contest. This week Fresno State is 1-0 with a 4-3 win over Pacific on Tuesday. The two teams play each other Friday night at 6:35 p.m., on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. before returning to Las Vegas.
Leading the Rebels from the plate this season is senior Mark Shannon. He is batting .333 and has a team-high 38 hits. He also is leads the team with 19 RBI and nine doubles. Shannon has also pitched well for the Rebels and owns a 3-1 record to go with a 2.61 ERA. He is third on the team with 32 strikeouts. He made his first relief appearance of the season against Air Force, coming from his usual starting spot of center field to the mound. Junior Buddy Borden (3-1) currently has a 1.71 ERA which is the best on the Rebel staff for starters. He also leads team in strikeouts with 44. Sophomore Erick Fedde (4-0) sports a 2.06 ERA and is second on the team with 43 strikeouts in 48.0 innings. From the bullpen, senior Andrew Beresford has seen the most action, pitching 13.0 innings of relief. He has a 3-0 record and four saves to go along with a 2.77 ERA.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Fresno State (7-18, 2-5 Mountain West) has not started the season they way they would have liked. The Bulldogs were tabbed to take fourth by the coaches in the preseason Mountain West poll, and the case could have been made that they should have been picked higher. The team was above .500 last season with a 31-28 record and was 8-10 in the Western Athletic Conference, but went 5-1 to win the conference tournament and earn a postseason bid. So far this season, Fresno State has only won one series, winning two of three against USC. The team's longest winning streak is two games, which also came against the Trojans. Out of the gate, the Bulldogs dropped seven of their first eight games and are currently 3-6 in their last nine games. Leading Fresno State this season has been Aaron Judge. Judges is hitting .343 on the year and has started all 25 games for the Bulldogs. He also leads the team in hits (34), home runs (4), RBI (15) and is tied for the lead in doubles (7). He has been struck out 27 times this season, which is also a team high. As a team the Bulldogs are hitting .242, as Judge is the only player to have above a .300 average. From the mound, the Bulldogs have had eight pitchers make at least one start. Friday night's starter Derick Velazquez leads the team in wins with a 2-2 record to go with a 4.46 ERA . He is the only member of the pitching staff to record a complete game this season. He is second on the team with 25 strikeouts, two behind Tyler Linehan (1-5, 7.71 ERA) who has 27.
FRESNO STATE SERIES HISTORY
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the turn of the century. Fresno State and UNLV last met in 1999 as Western Athletic Conference mates. The Rebels have won four of the last six meetings, but Fresno States owns the series with a 36-24 record and the Bulldogs are 18-6 against UNLV in Fresno. The two teams will meet again May 3-5.
After the Fresno State series, UNLV will return home for a big game against perennial Arizona State before hosting in-state rival Nevada, Reno. The Rebels will play the Sun Devils on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. and then host the Wolf Pack Friday through Sunday. Friday's game time has been moved to 7:05 p.m. to accommodate fans that want to attend the UNLV football spring game at 5:30 p.m.