Rebels To Host Sun Devils

April 9, 2013

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LAS VEGAS ( - The UNLV Rebels (22-9, 7-5 Mountain West) return to Las Vegas for a midweek matchup with the Arizona State Sun Devils (19-9-1, 6-6 Pac-12).  The Rebels are coming off of a series win at Fresno State. UNLV rallied on Friday and Saturday nights to win 9-8, both days, over the Bulldogs, but could not complete the sweep on Sunday, falling 5-3. The Sun Devils jumped back into the national conversation as they took two of three in Tempe, Ariz. against No. 11 Oregon. Arizona State won 6-5 in 11 innings on Friday and 14-9 on Saturday, but lost the series finale 16-3 on Sunday. The Rebels will return the midweek home game on April 24 before heading to play at New Mexico. First pitch tomorrow is slated for 6:05 p.m.

Leading the Rebels from the plate this season is are the Armstrong brothers. Junior college transfer Patrick Armstrong is hitting .364 in 23 games played. Younger brother Joey Armstrong has played in all 31 games this season for the Rebels and has a .339 batting average. Seniors Mark Shannon and Brandon Bayardi are tied for a team-high 41 hits. Shannon also is leads the club with 24 RBI and 10 doubles, while Bayardi leads the team with five home runs. Shannon has also pitched well for UNLV 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 2.19 ERA which is not only the best on the Rebel staff, but is also the best in the Mountain West. Sophomore Erick Fedde (4-0) sports a 2.48 ERA and leads the team with 49 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. From the bullpen, senior Andy Beresford has seen the most action, pitching 16.1 innings of relief. He has a team best 5-0 record and four saves to go along with a 2.76 ERA.

No. 15 Arizona State (19-9-1, 6-6 Pac-12) opened the season ranked as high as 16th, but fell out of the rankings after losing two of three to Washington State in week five. The Sun Devils followed that up with losing two of three to No. 3 Oregon State the next week. Since the series against the Beavers, ASU has won six of their last eight games, including winning two of three against No. 4 UCLA and No 11 Oregon.  Those wins have catapulted the Sun Devils back into the rankings. Leading Arizona State this season has been Drew Stankiewicz, as he is hitting .330. Trever Allen leads the team with 21 RBI and four home runs this season. James McDonald is the only player for ASU who has played in all 29 games this season. He is hitting .298 and leads the team with 11 doubles. The Sun Devils will send Zak Miller to the mound against the Rebels on Wednesday. The junior made his first career start last season against UNLV in Tempe, Ariz. This season Miller sports a 1-0 record to go with a 1.64 ERA in 11.0 innings. Ryan Burr is the primary closer for ASU, as he has six save this season. He is 1-1 on the year with a 2.38 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched and is third on the team with 33 strikeouts. Matt Dunbar and Alex Blackford have also made relief appearances. Dunbar has a 1-0 record to go with a 2.57 ERA in 21.0 innings, while Blackford sports a 3-0 record to go with a 2.75 ERA in 19.2 innings.
This will be the second meeting in a decade between the Rebels and the Sun Devils. Last year, UNLV traveled to Arizona State and lost 4-2. Overall ASU has a commanding lead in the series with a 55-14-1 record against the Rebels. In Las Vegas, UNLV is 8-16-1 against the Sun Devils. This will be the first time since 2002 that Arizona State has played at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. The Rebels won that matchup 11-7 on April 1, 2002.

After the midweek game against Arizona State, UNLV will resume Mountain West play by hosting in-state rival Nevada, Reno. The Rebels will play 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. First pitch on Saturday will be at 2:05 p.m. and on Sunday it will be at 1:05 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors while UNLV students and all kids 12 and younger are always free of charge. Log on to to purchase or for more information.