May 2, 2004
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - UNLV (28-16, 15-5 MWC) broke open a 12-12 tie baseball game by scoring eight runs in the eighth inning to complete a weekend sweep of Air Force (5-33, 0-14 MWC) with a 22-12 win Sunday afternoon at Falcon Field. The Rebels tied a Mountain West Conference record--set two weekends ago by New Mexico vs. Air Force--by hitting eight home runs in the game.
Matt Nielsen concluded a monster weekend by going 5-for-5 with three home runs, five runs and seven RBI's. For the three-game series, Nielsen went 9-for-13 with four homers and 12 RBI. Zeke Parraz also had a career weekend for UNLV, going 4-for-6 on the day with a homer and three runs and RBI's. Parraz went 10-for-13 on the weekend, with seven runs scored.
Shane Clatterbuck (1-0) picked up his first win of the season by tossing three scoreless innings of relief for the Rebels. Kyle DePierre (0-3) took the loss for the Falcons, allowing six runs, three earned, in 2.2 innings of relief.
The game was a see-saw battle for the first six innings as the lead changed hands three times in the first five innings.
UNLV put up two runs off AFA starter Paul Vignola in the first inning, but the Falcons answered back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the innings to tie it up 2-2. Brent Tittle gave the Falcons their first lead of the game with a three-run homer in the second to put AFA up 5-2.
The Rebels rallied to tie the game with two runs in the third and one in the fourth. UNLV then went ahead 9-5 with four runs off a solo home run by Peter White and three-run shot by CJ Ebarb.
The Falcons then came right back with six runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead at 12-9. The Falcons batted around in the fifth, collecting five hits and benefitted from a pair of errors by the shortstop White.
The Rebels rebounded in the sixth with three runs of their own to re-tie the game at 12-12. UNLV then exploded for eight runs in the eighth and added two more in the ninth to roll to a sweep of the Falcons. Nielsen, who homered in the third, hit two more home runs in the eighth inning.
Brad Ross and Andrew De'Angelo hit back-to-back long-balls in the ninth for the Rebels.
Matt Minor started the game for UNLV, allowing five runs in two innings pitched. Matt Luca relieved Minor and was tagged for seven runs, three earned in 2.2 innings. Jason Guerra finished the game with a scoreless inning.
Vignola allowed nine runs in 4.1 innings pitched. Jeff Tetrault relieved Vignola and gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning. JT Schroeder pitched the final 1.1 innings for the Falcons, allowing five runs, two earned while fanning three.
The Falcons were outhit 22-13 and committed three errors to the Rebels' four. Six Falcons--Matt Musser, Tittle, Travis Fugler, Karl Bolt, Nathan DeRohan and Jon Polston--recorded two hits in the game. Tittle also scored four runs and Musser added three.
Air Force returns to action Fri.-Sun., May 7-9, with five games against Utah at Franklin Covey Field, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Game Notes: Air Force has now dropped 14 in a row to UNLV.