Rebel Bats Take Bite Out Of Bulldog Pitching
April 4, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (19-16) swept a doubleheader against the Fresno State Bulldogs (24-15) Wednesday night in Fresno, Calif., at the Bulldog Diamond in Fresno, Calif. UNLV opened up the night with an 8-5 come-from-behind win followed by a 12-2 victory in six innings.
The Rebels' eight runs and 12 hits in tonight's first game were a then-game high before the nightcap, which saw them one-up themselves with 12 runs and 17 hits. The 17 hits were the most by a UNLV team since the 2009 edition scattered 20 against Dartmouth (March 20). Those same 17 hits rank in a tie for the most ever allowed by Fresno State in a game.
In all, UNLV hit .426 on the day with 29 hits in 68 at-bats. Ten different players recorded at least one hit with nine getting at least two. Balilea and Monreal led the battering of Bulldog pitching with six and five hits apiece, respectively. Balilea racked up a .857 batting average (6-for-7), while Monreal countered with a .625 effort (5-for-8). Both tallied four RBI, while the former scored three runs to the latter's two.
In the first game, UNLV surrendered four runs in the bottom of the first before its offense awoke for season highs in runs and hits. From the third inning
The Bulldogs opened things up with four scores off of three hits, two of which went in the books as home runs. Brenna Moss led off with a walk, stole second and then scored on an RBI single from Brooke Ortiz. Two batters later Courtney Moore stepped up and hit a deep fly to left center that Paige Emerson scurried 60 feet to her left and caught. Unfortunately, Emerson's momentum carried her into the outfield fence and when bracing to get her balance she lost control of the ball and it fell beyond the barrier. Stesha Brazil immediately followed with a homer of her own to left.
After a scoreless second inning - the only stanza without a run, UNLV began to mount its comeback. The Rebels cut the deficit in half with a two-run dinger from Tayler Aleman to left center. Balilea scored on the no-doubter after sparking the offensive with her own two-out double.
The Rebels kept the pedal down the remainder of the game after their initial scores. They plated three in the fourth behind three hits, two wild pitches and an error. Heather Harrison got things going by reaching on an error before giving way to Emilie Valadez as a pinch-runner. Stefany Valentino and Elena Fata then contributed back-to-back singles to load the bases. After giving up the hits, Michelle Moses instantly uncorked two wild pitches that allowed Valadez and Valentino to score and tie the game. Fata came around following a single by Emerson, which spelled the end of the night for Moses and summoned Mackenzie Oakes from the bullpen.
UNLV followed with an individual tally in each subsequent inning. Harrison (fifth inning), Monreal (sixth) and Balilea (seventh) were credited with the RBI. The Bulldogs scored once in the fifth off a Rebel error.
Oliveto improved to 12-9 on the year behind her 15th complete game in 2012. Oliveto was touched for five runs (four earned) on five hits. She struck out three and walked three.
Moses was saddled with the loss in only 3.1 innings of work. She dropped to 14-10 on the year after allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits. She struck out four and walked two.
Oakes went 3.2 innings in the circle and gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits. She fanned two and walked one.
In the second game, UNLV struck early with three runs and never looked back en route to the 12-2 win.
The Rebels opened up with three in the first. Monreal stepped up with two on and delivered an RBI single. After loading up the bases, FS made a pitching change, but Samantha Henry rudely welcomed Destinee Levesque to the game with a run-scoring single. An error followed on Henry's play that allowed another run to score.
The Bulldogs got one run back in the second off a solo shot by Michelle Soloman.
UNLV then scored nine of the final 10 runs in the game. The third-inning run was off an error, while the remaining tallies were from Balilea (three RBI), Monreal (two), Emerson (two) and Aleman (one).
O'Connor improved to 6-2 on the year in five innings of work. She was touched for two runs on six hits. She struck out two, as well.
A total of three pitchers were used in the second game for the Bulldogs. Kiley Shae Aldridge was hit with the loss. Aldridge only managed to get two outs before being pulled from the game. She allowed three unearned runs off one hit. Levesque and Oakes tossed the final 5.1 innings to a combined effort of 16 hits, nine runs (eight earned) and two strikeouts.
UNLV returns to action next Wednesday, April 11 against Southern Utah in Las Vegas. The Rebels and Thunderbirds will play a doubleheader with the first game scheduled for 4:00 pm. These two contests will be the first at home for UNLV since March 4.
Notes: Balilea's three hits in each game tied her career and season high for the year ... Balilea's three RBI (game two) and two runs (game one) tied a season high ... Monreal's three hits in game two tied a career high originally set against Seattle on April 2, 2011 ... Aleman's home run in game one gives her 20 for her career, which puts her in a 10th-place tie in UNLV's career record book ... Oliveto remained eighth overall in career wins (33), while O'Connor moved into a ninth-place tie with 31 Ws ... Oliveto moved into a ninth-place tie in career complete games with 37.