Rebels Head To Reno For Rivalry Series

May 8, 2013

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LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (31-17, 13-11 Mountain West) resume MW play against in-state rival Nevada, Reno (24-24, 11-13 MW). This will be the first time since 1995 that the Rebels and Wolf Pack have met as conference opponents in Reno, Nev. Most recently, the Rebels beat San Diego 12-10 on Monday. UNLV used back-to-back home runs and strong relief pitching to hold off a late Torero rally. Last week the Rebels closed up their home games for the 2013 season with a series win over Fresno State. UNLV won the first two games, 4-1 on Friday and 9-2 on Saturday before falling 9-4 in the series finale. UNR took two of three from San Diego State, but has lost four of its last six games, including a 5-2 loss to St. Mary’s on Tuesday.

SCOUTING THE REBELS
Patrick Armstrong leads the Rebels and the Mountain West in batting average. He is hitting .411 in 40 games played. He is also tied for a team-high 14 double with Mark Shannon. Most recently, Armstrong was 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in UNLV’s 12-10 win over San Diego on May 6. Brandon Bayardi has a .349 average and leads the team with nine home runs and is tied for a team-high 38 RBI with Shannon. The UNLV center fielder, Shannon, is also tied for a team-high in a third category, stolen bases, at nine with Joey Armstrong. Shannon has also pitched well for UNLV. He owns a 4-2 record to go with a 4.99 ERA. Junior Buddy Borden (6-1) currently has a 2.23 ERA which is not only the best on the Rebel staff, but is also the best in the Mountain West. Sophomore Erick Fedde (5-2) sports a 3.82 ERA and leads the team with 69 strikeouts in 77.2 innings. From the bullpen, freshman Brayden Torres has made the most appearances (16) and has 24 strikeouts to go with a 3.18 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched. He has not factored in any decision or made a save this season, but he made his first career start last Sunday against Fresno State. Andrew Beresford has seen the most action, pitching 23.0 innings of relief. He owns a 5-1 record and four saves to go along with a 4.70 ERA.

SCOUTING THE WOLF PACK
Nevada, Reno (24-24, 11-13 MW) comes into the weekend series against UNLV having lost four of its last six games, but the Wolf Pack was able to take two of three from San Diego State. UNR started the year 9-4, but was 8-11 before the Rebels and Wolf Pack’s first meeting this season. UNR was able to take two of three from UNLV, but suffered its worst loss in the rivalry since 1985. After leaving Las Vegas, the Pack dropped four straight before winning their next three. Most recently UNR lost a midweek game to Saint Mary’s 5-2 on Tuesday. Last weekend, the Wolf Pack got some revenge against San Diego State after being swept by the Aztecs earlier this season. UNR won 7-1 on Friday, lost 4-3 on Saturday and won in walk-off fashion 4-3 on Sunday. The series against will be the end of it’s longest homestretch this season, with eight straight games being played at Peccole Park. Leading the Wolf Pack from the plate this season is Austin Byler. He has played in 45 games for the Pack and has a .353 average. He is tied for a team-high 61 hits with Brooks Klein, and leads the squad with 40 RBI and eight home runs. Klein has played in all 48 games this season and leads the team with 12 doubles. From the mound, UNR is led by Braden Shipley. He owns a 7-2 record to go with a 2.49 ERA and has struck out a team-high 78 batters in 86.2 innings. The Wolf Pack’s Saturday starter Tyler Wells also has a 4-3 record to go with a 3.69 ERA. He has struck out 50 batters in 68.1 innings. UNR’s Sunday starter will be Tom Jameson who owns a 1-6 record to go with a 5.56 ERA. He has struck out 39 batters in 68.0 innings. 
 
NEVADA, RENO SERIES HISTORY
This will be the first time that the Rebels and Wolf Pack have met as conference foes in Reno, Nev. since 1995 when both teams were members of the Big West Conference. UNR took two of three from UNLV earlier this season, winning 7-6 on April 12 and 5-4 on April 14. UNLV recorded its largest win over its rival since 1985 with a 15-2 victory on April 13. Overall the Rebels lead the series 71-50.

ON DECK
After the UNR series, UNLV will finish up its regular season at Air Force on May 16-18 before the conference tournament in Fresno, Calif. on May 22-26.