Rebels Return Las Vegas To Face Aztecs

April 18, 2013

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LAS VEGAS ( – The UNLV Rebels (24-12, 8-7 Mountain West) will resume Mountain West play against San Diego State (19-17, 10-5 MW) at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. The Rebels most recently routed UC Riverside 24-11 in midweek action. UNLV recorded 29 hits in the game and sophomore T.J. White finished a spectacular 7-for-7. Last weekend the Rebels dropped 2-of-3 to rival Nevada, Reno, losing 7-6 on Friday and 5-4 on Sunday, while defeating the Wolf Pack 15-2 on Saturday. SDSU is coming off of a series win over Air Force. The Aztecs won the series between UNLV and SDSU in San Diego earlier this season, winning 5-3 on March 22 and 5-4 on March 24. UNLV won its only game against the Aztecs on March 23 defeating them 4-2.

Junior college transfer Patrick Armstrong leads the Rebels from the plate this season and is hitting .393 in 28 games played. He also has a team-high 12 doubles. Senior Brandon Bayardi has played in all 36 games and has a .343 average and leads the team with seven home runs and is tied with T.J. White for a team-high 49 hits. White leads the team with 148 at bats and is most recently coming off of a UNLV record seven hits against UC Riverside. Mark Shannon leads the club with 34 RBI and is tied for a team-high nine steals with freshman Joey Armstrong. Shannon has also pitched well for UNLV. He owns a 4-1 record to go with a 3.35 ERA. He is fourth on the team with 36 strikeouts and has been the most dominate starter for the the Rebels during midweek action. Junior Buddy Borden (4-1) currently has a 2.12 ERA which is not only the best on the Rebel staff, but is also the best in the Mountain West. Sophomore Erick Fedde (4-1) sports a 2.98 ERA and leads the team with 56 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. From the bullpen, senior Andy Beresford has seen the most action, pitching 17.2 innings of relief. He has a team best 5-1 record and four saves to go along with a 3.06 ERA.

San Diego State (19-17, 10-5 Mountain West) got off to a great start, as the Aztecs swept No. 12 San Diego in its brand new ball park. SDSU was then swept by Oregon State and split a two game series against Santa Clara. After the Aztecs sweep of Seton Hall, they returned to the road and lost six straight games to Arkansas (4), UC Irvine (1) and Fresno State (1). Since taking 2-of-3 against UNLV, the Aztecs dropped 2-of-3 at New Mexico, spit with UC Riverside, swept Nevada, Reno and lost to Long Beach State in 11 innings. Most recently, SDSU is coming off of a series win at Air Force, winning the Friday night contest 4-2 and the Sunday game 11-0. The Aztec’s only loss to the Falcons came on Saturday, when Air Force won 10-9. SDSU is led by Jake Romanski as he is hitting .369. Tim Zier leads the team with 24 RBI. Greg Allen leads the team with 11 stolen bases, which is also the second most in the conference. From the mound, the Aztecs are led by Michael Cederoth (3-4), who owns a 2.85 ERA and leads the conference with 69 strikeouts in 60.0 innings pitches. Ryan Doran (6-2) sports a 2.54 ERA and has 45 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. The Sunday starter is projected to be Philip Walby (1-2) and he owns a 3.96 ERA and has struck out 36 in 50.0 innings pitched. SDSU’s top reliever is Bubba Derby, who has made 16 appearances this season and has seven saves. 

San Diego State has owned the overall series between the Aztecs and the Rebels, leading 70-46. UNLV has struggled as of late, winning only four games since 2009. The two teams met earlier this season in San Diego, Calif. and the Rebels lost two of three games, despite leading at some point in all three of the games.

After the weekend series game against San Diego State, UNLV will head back on the road for one game midweek game against No. 9 Arizona State on Wednesday before traveling to Mountain West leader New Mexico for a three-game series starting on Friday. The Rebels were a combined 1-3 against the two teams earlier this season, losing 2-of-3 to the Lobos on March 15-17 and dropping a midweek contest to Arizona State on April 10.

On April 16, UNLV sophomore T.J. White recorded seven hits against the UC Riverside Highlanders, guiding the Rebels to a 24-11 victory. The seven hits tied not only a school record, but a conference record that was set by his older brother J.C. Sibley set on May 7, 2005. They are the only brother combination in the country to record seven hits in a game for the same program. White’s seven hits also make him only the second player in the NCAA to complete the feat this season in one game. Michael Marietta of Central Arkansas also record seven hits earlier this year.

After T.J. White’s seven hits against UC Riverside, he is now tied for a team-high 49 with Brandon Bayardi. That makes the pair tied for 103rd in the nation. White ranks 18th in the nation in runs scored (41) and is 19th in runs per game (1.14). He fell nationally, after striking out twice in the Nevada, Reno series, from eighth to 28th in the country as the toughest batter to strike out. So far he only has struck out nine time this season and averages 16.4 at bats between strikeouts.