Rebels Finish Up Regular Season At Air Force

May 14, 2013

UNLV Game Notes - Air Force Get Acrobat Reader

LAS VEGAS ( - The UNLV Rebels (34-17, 16-11 Mountain West) will conclude its regular season at Air Force (15-35, 6-21 MW). The Rebels swept the Falcons earlier this season in Las Vegas, winning two games by one run. Last week, UNLV went 4-0 with a win over San Diego and a sweep against in-state rival Nevada, Reno. The Rebels opened the week with a 12-10 victory over the Toreros before heading on the road to Reno, Nev. While up north, the Rebels caught fire, winning 12-2 on Friday, 5-1 on Saturday and 15-1 on Sunday.  Air Force has lost five of its last six and 12 of its last 14 Mountain West games. Last weekend, the Falcons beat San Diego State on Friday 4-2, but fell on Saturday 7-2 and 9-2 on Sunday to the Aztecs.

Patrick Armstrong leads the Rebels and is second in the Mountain West with a batting average of .400 in 43 games played. He is also tied for second on the team with 14 doubles with Mark Shannon. Armstrong has hit six home runs in the last two weeks, which ranks second on the team. Brandon Bayardi has a .335 average and leads the team with nine home runs and is tied for a team-high 39 RBI with Shannon and Justin Jones. Shannon, the UNLV center fielder, also leads the team in a third category, stolen bases, at 11. Shannon has also pitched well for UNLV. He owns a 4-2 record to go with a 4.99 ERA. Junior Buddy Borden (7-1) currently has a 2.16 ERA which is not only the best on the Rebel staff, but is also the best in the Mountain West. Sophomore Erick Fedde (6-2) sports a 3.66 ERA and leads the team with 74 strikeouts in 86.0 innings. From the bullpen, freshman Brayden Torres has made the most appearances (17) and has 26 strikeouts to go with a 3.04 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched. He has not factored in any decision or made a save this season, but he made his first career start against Fresno State on May 5. Brady Zuniga has seen the most action out of the bull pen, at 27.2 innings. He has a 3.58 ERA with 24 strikeouts on the season and is tied for a team-high four saves with Andrew Beresford.

It has been a tough year for Air Force (14-35, 6-21), and has been brutal as of late, dropping seven of its last 10 games. The Falcons have also only won two of their last 14 conference games, beating San Diego State last Friday and Nevada, Reno on April 28. The season started with five straight losses, as the Falcons were swept by the University of Texas-San Antonio and lost the first game of a four-game set with Navy. The team bounced back, splitting the series with the Midshipmen and then won 3-of-4 in the Snowbird Classic which was played in Punta Gorda, Fla. After that, the Falcons were swept by Gardner-Webb and lost 2-of-3 at Nevada, Reno. The team played its first game in Colorado Springs, Colo. on March 19 and split against Nebraska-Omaha. Their first conference home series was against Fresno State and the Falcons won the first game of the series. The next two games were snowed out. Before facing UNLV the first time, Air Force lost two games at Wichita State.  Leading the Falcons from the plate is Garret Custons with a .366 batting average. Custons also leads the team with 21 doubles. Seth Kline has a team-high 30 RBI and is second on the team in batting average with .337. From the mound, Air Force is led by Cameron White, who owns a 4.75 ERA to go along with his 3-9 record. He has started 13 games this season and has pitched three complete games. In 94.2 innings pitched, he has struck out 65 and has only walked eight. Leading the team in strikeouts is Ben Bertelson with 79. Bertelson is 1-6 on the year with a 7.53 ERA and is scheduled to face the Rebels on Saturday.

Since 2008, UNLV has faced Air Force 21 times and has lost only five of those matchups. In that time period, the Rebels have lost four times in Colorado Springs, Colo.  Overall, UNLV is 81-23 against the Falcons and has lost nine times to Air Force in Colorado since the turn of the century.

Next up for the Rebels is the Mountain West Tournament from May 22-26 in Fresno, Calif. UNLV currently sits in second place in the conference standings, and are 1.5 games ahead of San Diego State. The No. 1 and 2 seeds in the conference tournament will earn a BYE for the first round of the tournament.