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UNLV first baseman, Corey Pool, walks back to the dugout with his head down after striking out (Photo: Jeremy Rincon)
UNLV first baseman, Corey Pool, walks back to the dugout with his head down after striking out (Photo: Jeremy Rincon)

Strong rallies not enough for Rebels to overcome Mountaineers

By Manny Vieites
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After a 1-2 start to the season, against a baseball savvy program in Texas, the Rebels started their second dosage of Big 12 opponents Friday at home against West Virginia.

Junior, D.J. Myers got the start for the Rebels on the mound and on the second pitch of the game Kyle Davis of West Virginia hit it out of the park. Following the home run Myers would give up a single, followed by a second home run of the inning to second baseman Cole Austin.

Despite going down 3-0 early, Myers rallied back to strikeout the four, five and six spots of the West Virginia lineup to get out of the first.

The Rebels would answer back with a rally of its own in the first when third baseman Kyle Isbel connected on a single to right field. Following the single, left fieldsman, Payton Squier hit a line drive to right to send Isbel to third. Squier finished the game 4-5 with an RBI.

UNLV fails on tagging out a Mountaineer in the first inning (Photo: Jeremy Rincon)

UNLV fails on tagging out a Mountaineer in the first inning (Photo: Jeremy Rincon)

Isbel would eventually score on an infield player decision on a throw out at first.

After a decent answer from the Rebels, Myers responded back with great pitching but his infielders did not come out strong. A runner was called safe at first after a controversial tag out, with two outs. Following the hit, Myers walked the next batter leaving two men on base.

On the next at bat, David Jones of West Virginia hit a triple sending two runners home. After the triple, a line drive was hit to UNLV second baseman Justin Jones and he could not complete the play resulting in an error and another run for West Virginia. The Mountaineers went up 6-1 after two.

The Rebels made a rally in the bottom of the fifth despite two consecutive groundouts for the first two batters. The inning consisted of four Rebel hits with two of those hits being back-to-back doubles, one by Jones and the other by Isbel. Those hits resulted in a 6-4 comeback by the Rebels.

Myers shut out West Virginia from the 3rd to the 7th inning keeping UNLV’s hopes alive. Myers finished with seven strikeouts, six hits and gave up six runs. Cody Roper was brought in as relief and was able to continue the shutout till the middle of the eighth.

“DJ is a good pitcher,” said head Coach Stan Stolte. “He left some balls up where West Virginia took advantage of but besides that he retired 10 straight before Cody took the mound.”

The bottom of the eighth is where the Rebels made their run at the Mountaineers. After a single and a walk dished out by West Virginia, catcher, Andrew Yazdanbakhsh, with two outs, laced a double down the left field line scoring one runner on an RBI and the other on an E7.

“I like those high pressure situations,” said Yazdanbakhsh. “I’ve been in those situations before, you just have to be ready to capitalize when those situations come up.”

With a tie game heading into the 9th, coach Stan Stolte sent out closer Blaze Bohall to the mound to attempt a win. Bohall walked the first batter and then miss fired on a throw out at first, sending the runner to third. After the wild throw at first, Bohall gave up a hit sending the runner on third home.

The Mountaineers celebrate after a three-run homer late in the game (Photo: Jeremy Rincon)

The Mountaineers celebrate after a three-run homer late in the game (Photo: Jeremy Rincon)

West Virginia took the lead 7-6, and the hurting didn’t end there for Bohall. Following the hit, Darious Hill hit a two run home run increasing the Mountaineer lead 9-6. Bohall would escape the inning via groundball, fly out and strikeout.

Stolte was asked if he should’ve yanked Bohall out of the 9th.

“I have confidence in Blaze like I did last week at Texas,” said Stolte. “He’ll see more opportunities like this in the future and he’ll learn from it.”

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