Rebels Travel To Fresno For MW Tournament
May 20, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (36-18, 18-12 Mountain West) earned the No. 2 seed with a series win over Air Force to end the regular season last week. The Rebels fell 13-6 in the series opener on Thursday, but bounced back to win 7-6 on Friday and 14-6 on Saturday over the Falcons. It will be the first time in school history that UNLV has been a No. 2 seed in the tournament. Only one No. 2 seed has ever won the MW tournament and that was San Diego State in 2000. The Rebels are 22-21 in MW tournament action and have won three postseason titles (2003, 2004 and 2005). UNLV will face the highest winning seed advancing from the first round match-ups at 3 p.m. PT on Thursday, May 23. Every tournament game will be streamed live and free on the Mountain West Network (TheMWC.com). Rich Cellini will call the play-by-play with Paul Loeffler and David Lombardi sharing the color analyst duties from Beiden Field.
SCOUTING THE REBELS
Patrick Armstrong leads the Rebels and is third in the Mountain West with a batting average of .393 in 46 games played. He is also ranks third on the team with 15 doubles. Armstrong has hit seven home runs in the last three weeks, which ranks second on the team. Brandon Bayardi has a .348 average and leads the team with 10 home runs and 46 RBI. T.J. White leads the team with 12 stolen bases this season and is third on the team with a .335 average. He leads the Rebels with a .349 batting average in MW games this season. Junior Buddy Borden (8-1) 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 (6-3) sports a 3.94 ERA and leads the team with 76 strikeouts in 89.0 innings. From the bullpen, freshman Brayden Torres has made the most appearances (18) and has 26 strikeouts to go with a 3.00 ERA in 24.0 innings pitched. He recorded his first career save last Friday against Air Force and made his first career start against Fresno State on May 5. Brady Zuniga has seen the most action out of the bull pen, at 29.1 innings. He has a 4.30 ERA with 25 strikeouts on the season and is tied for a team-high four saves with Andrew Beresford. Beresford (5-1) has a 4.26 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 25.1 innings of work.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT
New Mexico (35-18, 25-5 MW) earned the 2013 Mountain West regular season baseball title and enters the MW Baseball Championship as the No. 1 seed. The MW Championship will be held at Pete Beiden Field in Fresno, Calif., on Wednesday-Sunday, May 22-26. It will be a six-team double-elimination tournament. UNM receives a first-round bye, along with No. 2 seed UNLV (36-18, 18-12). The Lobos earned the No. 1 seed by winning all 10 Conference series this season. UNM’s 25 MW wins is the most by a team in league history, passing UNLV’s 24-wins in 2003 (24-6). New Mexico is 21-22 in MW championship play, winning back-to-back titles in 2011 (No. 6 seed) and 2012 (No. 1 seed). The Lobos will face the lowest winning seed of Wednesday’s first round games at 7 p.m. PT on Thursday, May 23. Competition will begin on Wednesday, May 22, at 3 p.m. PT between No. 3 seed San Diego State (26-28, 15-15) and No. 6 seed Air Force (15-37, 7-23). The Aztecs are 27-24 with one tournament title (2000) in MW postseason play. The Falcons are making their first appearance in the tournament since 2006. Air Force is 3-14 in seven MW appearances. SDSU won the 2013 series with Air Force 4-2. Host Fresno State (21-31, 14-16) earned the No. 4 seed with a series win against No. 5 seed Nevada (24-30, 11-19) on the last weekend of the regular season. It is the first MW tournament appearance for the two league newcomers. The Bulldogs won the 2013 series against the Wolf Pack 4-2. The teams wrap up the first round at 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, May 22. The losers of Wednesday’s contests will play each other at 11 a.m. PT on Thursday, May 23, followed by the first games for No. 2 seed UNLV (3 p.m.) and No. 1 seed New Mexico (7 p.m.). Elimination games continue on Friday, May 24 at 11 a.m. PT and 3 p.m. PT with the winner’s bracket game played at 7 p.m. PT. Saturday, May 25, will begin with an elimination game set for 3 p.m. PT, followed by the Championship Game at 7 p.m. PT. If a second championship game is needed, it will be played at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 26.
MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Since 2010, UNLV has only won two Mountain West tournament games, both coming in that 2010 tournament. Since then, the Rebels have lost six straight MW tournament games and have were eliminated after only two games the previous two seasons. Overall the Rebels are 22-21 in the MW Tournament and have won it three times, in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
After the Mountain West Tournament, UNLV will wait to see whether or not the Rebels will be chosen for the NCAA Regionals. If UNLV is able to capture the MW Tournament title, the Rebels will receive and automatic bid to the NCAA post season and will wait until 9:00 a.m. Monday, May 27, to see where they will play and who they will play, which will be announced on ESPNU.