Seniors Help Themselves To Final Win
May 12, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (22-27, 3-9 Mountain West) scored seven unanswered runs to rally from a four-run deficit to claim a 9-7 come-from-behind victory over the San Diego State Aztecs (30-22, 9-3 MW) on "Senior Day" at Eller Media Stadium. All five Rebel seniors were influential in the win, as the three offensive players - Korin Cuico, Paige Emerson and Kylie Wagner - factored in six of the team's runs and two pitches - Jessica O'Connor and Amber Petersen - recorded the win and a save.
UNLV's offense was led by multiple-hit efforts from Heather Harrison, Elena Fata and Tayler Aleman. Harrison tied a career-high in hits with three, while Fata and Aleman registered two hits apiece. Aleman added two RBI and two runs to her stat line, while Wagner also touched home plate twice.
The game did not start well for the Rebels, as SDSU's Hayley Miles cranked a solo home run to left field to begin the contest. UNLV answered back with its first lead in the series with two scores in the home half of the first with a two-run dinger from Tayler Aleman. Emerson scored on the play after initially reaching base safely with a lead-off walk.
SDSU answered back quickly in the second with five runs off of four hits. With the bases loaded, Kayla Jordan hit a two-run single to center to push the momentum back to the first base dugout. Lorena Klopp followed with a three-run home run to left field that extended the Aztec lead to four at 6-2.
Those six runs were all the visitors would score off of O'Connor (8-8), as she buckled down and threw three scoreless innings before exiting the circle in the sixth. She pitched five innings and allowed six runs off of eight hits.
UNLV began its rally in the bottom of the second with a run off of two hits, although the offense left the bases loaded. After Wagner walked and moved to third off a double by Harrison, Fata hit an RBI single through the left side that spelled Bailey Micetich's day in the circle for SDSU. Emerson then stepped up with runners on scoring position and laced an RBI single through the right side off new Aztec hurler Kamerin May.
Wagner and Harrison got things going in the third following a walk and a single, respectively, that forced SDSU to go to the bullpen and bring in Rebecca Arbino (13-10) to pitch. Emilie Valadez then entered the contest as a pinch-runner for Wagner and quickly came around to score off a run-scoring single by Cuico.
The Scarlet and Gray took the lead for good in the fourth with three runs off of four hits and an Aztec error. Balilea came to the plate with runners on first and second and blooped a seeing-eye single behind second base for the inning's first run. Wagner then put a ball in play that was mishandled by SDSU's second baseman and allowed Aleman to score from second. Harrison closed out the stanza's scoring with an RBI single to right.
After a scoreless fifth, Wagner teed off on an offering from Arbino for a solo blast to right-center in the sixth.
The Aztecs scored once in the seventh with assistance from an infield error.
Petersen earned her first career save with two innings of relief work. She allowed one unearned run off of one hit.
Arbino was saddled with the loss in 3.2 frames of relief. She was touched for four runs (two earned) off of seven hits. Micetich and May combined to toss 2.1 innings, but gave up five runs off of five hits. They struck out three against four walks.
Notes: The victory was the fourth straight win - third at home - by UNLV on the final day of the regular season ... The nine runs tied for the second-most scores by UNLV in a game this season ... With Saturday's 12 hits, UNLV registered double-digit hits 10 times ... UNLV had 10 or more hits in four of its final six games ... Emerson (eight games), Valentino (seven) and Balilea (six games) all ended the season with lengthy hitting streaks ... Emerson hit .444 (12-for-27) in her streak ... Valentino hit .522 (12-for-23) in her streak ... Balilea hit .455 (10-for-22) in her streak.