SAN DIEGO - The UNLV baseball team picked up a dramatic, come-from-behind victory Sunday afternoon, topping San Diego State 5-4 at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Rebels (22-27, 6-15 Mountain West) scored four runs in the ninth to pick up a crucial MW victory with just one conference series remaining.
Zack Hartman (2-1) earned the win after coming on in relief of starter Buddy Borden in the fifth. Hartman worked four-and-two-thirds, allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out two, including one of Aztec catcher Jake Romanski to end the game. The loss went to Greg Allen (0-1). Allen, San Diego State's everyday rightfielder, came on to pitch in the ninth, allowing three runs, none of which were earned.
The Aztecs (22-27,11-10 MW) got on the board first after Chris Wilson socked a two-out, two-run homerun to left field in the third. The homer also scored Matt Munoz who had doubled two batters earlier. San Diego State then added one more in the fourth when Tim Zier's RBI double scored Munoz from first. SDSU's final run would come on an RBI single by John Spirk, making the score 4-0 Aztecs.
UNLV finally got on the board in the eighth. Joey Swanner and Mark Shannon led off with back-to-back singles before Trevor Kirk flew out to right. Brandon Bayardi followed with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Swanner and making it 4-1 SDSU.
Then came the ninth inning. Shortstop Danny Higa led off the frame with a solo homerun to left. At that point, the Aztecs called upon their rightfielder Allen to pitch. The freshman issued back-to-back walks to Craig Shul and Scott Dysinger before T.J. White reached safely on an error by the shortstop Munoz. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Swanner struck out before Shannon's sacrifice fly made it 4-3 Aztecs. Trevor Kirk followed with a fly to right that was dropped by the rightfielder, allowing Dysinger to score the tying run. Brandon Bayardi followed with an RBI single up the middle, scoring T.J. White and giving the Rebels their first lead of the series at 5-4.
Hartman sat down the Aztecs 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to give UNLV the win.
UNLV returns to Las Vegas for its final home series of the year next weekend against New Mexico. The Rebels and Lobos will begin the series Friday night with a scheduled first-pitch time of 6:05 p.m.