Rebels Set For Final Homestand
May 2, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (28-16, 11-10 Mountain West) resume MW play against Fresno State (15-27, 9-12 MW) and will play their last home game of the year against San Diego (26-19, 10-8 West Coast Conference) on Monday. Most recently, the Rebels beat UC Riverside 20-6 on Tuesday. UNLV used four home runs to overpower the Highlanders, two of which coming from Pat Armstrong. Last week the Rebels stumbled on the road, losing four games to ranked teams. The Rebels dropped their midweek contest to No. 8 Arizona State 5-2 and then were swept by No. 24 New Mexico, losing 9-0 on Friday, 5-3 on Saturday and dropping a 14-13 heartbreaker in 10 innings on Sunday.
SCOUTING THE REBELS
Patrick Armstrong leads the Rebels from the plate this season and ranks third in the Mountain West. He is hitting .396 in 36 games played. He also leads the team in doubles with 14. Most recently, Armstrong was 4-for-4 with two home runs and a triple shy of the cycle in the 20-6 win over UC Riverside on April 30. Brandon Bayardi has a .324 average and leads the team with eight home runs. Mark Shannon leads the club with 36 RBI and is tied for a team high nine steals with Joey Armstrong. Shannon has also pitched well for UNLV. He owns a 4-2 record to go with a 4.08 ERA. He is fourth on the team with 37 strikeouts and has been the most dominate starter for the Rebels during midweek action. Junior Buddy Borden (5-1) 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 (4-2) sports a 4.13 ERA and leads the team with 61 strikeouts in 69.2 innings. From the bullpen, freshman Brayden Torres has made the most appearances (15) and has 20 strikeouts to go with a 2.50 ERA in 18.0 innings pitched. He has not factored in any decision or made a save this season, but is slated to make his first career start on Sunday. Andrew Beresford has seen the most action, pitching 22.0 innings of relief. He owns a 5-1 record and four saves to go along with a 4.91 ERA.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Fresno State (15-27, 9-12 Mountain West) did not start 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. Prior to the Rebels and Bulldogs first meeting, Fresno State had only won one series, winning two of three against USC. Since playing UNLV, Fresno State was swept by New Mexico and lost a midweek game against CSU Bakersfield before winning five straight games against Air Force. Since the series against the Falcons, the Bulldogs have won two of their last five, beating San Diego State and CSUB. Leading Fresno State this season has been Aaron Judge. Judges is hitting .346 on the year and has started all 42 games for the Bulldogs. He also leads the team in hits (55), home runs (7) and RBI (26). He has been struck out 38 times this season, which is tied for second on the team. As a team the Bulldogs are hitting .269, and they only have three players hitting over .300 this season. From the mound, the Bulldogs have had 10 pitchers make at least one start. Friday night’s starter Blake Quinn is tied for a team-high three wins and owns a 3-1 record to go with a team-low 2.39 ERA. Saturday’s probable starter, Jordan Brink, also has a 3-1 record to go with a 3.38 ERA and leads the team with 44 strikeouts this season. Brink was named the MW Pitcher of the Week last week for his complete game performance against Air Force. Tim Borst is projected to get the nod on Sunday and owns a 1-2 record to go with a 3.80 ERA. He also leads the team with two saves.
FRESNO STATE SERIES HISTORY
This will be the first meeting between the UNLV and Fresno State in Las Vegas since 1998. The Rebels won two of three earlier this season in Fresno, Calif. in their first meeting since the turn of the century when they were Western Athletic Conference mates. The Rebels have won six of the last eight meetings and own a 18-14 record over the Bulldogs in Las Vegas, but Fresno States owns the series with a 37-26 record.
SCOUTING THE TOREROS
San Diego got off to a rough start to the year by being swept by cross-town rival San Diego State in the season opening series. After that, the Toreros only lost three other games and had beaten No. 10 Cal State Fullerton, before losing two of three to Gonzaga. After beating UNLV in San Diego earlier this year, USD has been on a roller coaster ride. The Toreros took two of three from Oregon State, but then lost two of three to Loyola Marymount. Their next five games were at home, and USD only won two of them. Most recently, San Diego has been a skid, losing four of its last five games. Before traveling to Las Vegas, the Toreros will play a three-game set at Saint Mary’s. Leading the charge for the Toreros is Kris Bryant. He is hitting .338 and leads the country with 22 home runs. He also leads the team in hits (54), runs (55) and RBI (46). From the mound USD is led by P.J. Conlon (7-0). He has a 1.21 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 59.1 innings. Michael Wagner (1-5) leads the team with 64 strikeouts in 65.1 innings pitched.
SAN DIEGO SERIES HISTORY
UNLV and San Diego have only met 29 times, 22 of those games came before the turn of the century. Earlier this season UNLV wrapped up a weekend in San Diego, Calif. against USD. The Rebels scored two runs in the first two innings of that game, but the Toreros rallied, scoring five in the seventh inning to secure the win. The most recent meeting before this season was in 2007. The two teams met for a home-and-home, three-game series in 2006 in San Diego and then in Las Vegas in 2007. The Rebels won only one of the six contests in that time. UNLV owns the longest winning streak in the overall series, winning seven straight.
After hosting five straight home games, UNLV will finish its 2013 campaign on the road, traveling to face Mountain West foes the last two weeks of the season. The Rebels will first travel north to face Nevada, Reno on May 10-12.