No. 8 Baseball loses second straight one-run game to UNLV
LAS VEGAS -- The Rebels engineered three comebacks, including a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, as No. 8 Texas lost its second straight one-run decision to UNLV in front of a crowd of 2,074 fans at Earl E. Wilson Stadium on Saturday, March 4.
With the loss, the Longhorns fall to 9-8 on the season, while the Rebels have now won five in a row to improve to 6-8 on the year.
Back-to-back one-out doubles from Jordan Danks (Round Rock, Texas) and Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) combined with a fielding error to produce a 2-0 first-inning lead for the Longhorns. UNLV quickly answered in their half of the first by placing runners on the corners with no outs via a pair of singles before a double-play grounder made it a 2-1 ballgame. Battling right back in the top of the second, UT received a two-out, RBI-single from Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) with a pair of runners on to pull on top by a score of 3-1. The Rebels then loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second and had a dropped fly ball score all three runners and yield a 4-3 UNLV advantage.
Looking to respond in the top of the third, the Horns loaded the bases with one out on three walks before a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kyle Russell (Magnolia, Texas) knotted the game at 4-4. One inning later, Texas threatened once again by loading the bases with two away, but reliever Matt Wagner struck out his next batter to work out of the jam. Texas starter Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas), meanwhile, retired 10 of his next 11 batters to move the contest to the sixth still deadlocked at 4-4.
The Longhorns then loaded the bases for the third time in three innings courtesy of two singles and a walk in the top of the sixth prior to a two-out base hit through the right side from Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) that scored two and gave UT a 6-4 lead. Coming right back in their half of the sixth, the Rebels used an infield hit combined with a throwing error and a three consecutive base hits to score twice and tie the game at 6-6. Still threatening in the inning, Mike Cruz came up with UNLV's fifth straight two-out single to give the Rebels' their second lead of the game at 7-6.
A two-out, two-run triple off the bat of Danks in the top of the seventh then reclaimed the upper hand for UT at 8-7. Following a scoreless eighth for both sides and a top of the ninth for Texas, the Rebels put runners on first and second with one out via two walks in the bottom of the ninth. Keith Smith then lined a single into left field to tie the game at 8-8 before a walk loaded the bases and third baseman Braden Walker singled through the left side to hand the Rebels a 9-8 victory. Picking up the win in relief was Eric Brock, who allowed two runs over three innings, while Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas) shouldered the loss despite working 2.1 relief frames.
Paving the way for Texas' 13-hit attack was Peoples, who went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI, and Danks, who posted a career-best outing with four hits and two RBI while also scoring twice. UNLV's offense, meanwhile, was led by Cruz, who went 2-for-2 with one run scored and one RBI, and the tandem of Zach Borba and Smith, who each tallied a pair of hits while combining for one run scored and two RBI. Of additional note for UT, Stubbs extended his team season-best hit streak to 11 games with a 1-for-3 outing that included two runs scored and one RBI, while Alaniz worked six innings in his fifth start of the season.
The Horns and Rebels wrap up their three-game series at Earl E. Wilson Stadium on Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m. Central.