UNLV Baseball eager for upcoming season

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Eric Bigani (50) and Edarian Williams (2) celebrate a home run during their sweep over Fresno State during the 2021 season. Photo by Kayla Faasse

With UNLV students back on campus, the weather beginning to warm up, and the smell of clean cut grass is in the air, it means that UNLV baseball is back. 

The UNLV Rebels were cut short of a regular season last year due to COVID protocols. There were a total of eleven games canceled, including a stretch of seven consecutive games canceled in April. 

Despite the cancellations, the Rebels still finished last season with a 20-13 record which placed them in third in the Mountain West Conference. 

They showed why it kills to play at home as they held a 17-3 record, dominating teams that entered the Earl E. Wilson Stadium. 

With high hopes of a full season in 2022, the Rebels can not be more excited to start this year and finish what they started. 

“I’m very confident in our team,” head coach Stan Stotle said. “Especially with the older kids- very confident about the older leadership with what they’ve been through and the success they’ve had. They know what we have to do to get over the hump this year.” 

“I think we improved our pitching which has kind of been our downfall the last couple years advancing deeper into the season and I like where we are at. I love the kids on the team, we are all going in the right direction and we will be ready to go.”

The Rebel’s opening series will be against the Michigan State Spartans, in Las Vegas on Feb. 18 with first pitch at 6:05 p.m. 

UNLV has not faced the Spartans since 2004 and now they start their season with four straight games against them. 

There are a few changes to the Rebels roster as there are 18 new faces joining the team. They range from freshman to transfers but the camaraderie is still there. As how the catcher Eric Bigani states about his teammates. 

“For the most part I feel like our team as a group are pretty close and I feel like that will go a long way with us,” senior Eric Bigani said. “From being here the past couple years, I feel like this is one of the closest teams we’ve had. I feel like that will take us pretty deep in the season.” 

UNLV also went on to sign nine incoming freshmen for the 2023 season in hopes to replace the eight seniors they currently have. 

This is some big news for the Rebels as five of the nine signees are ranked in their state. Four of them are Nevada’s very own and the other is from California. 

UNLV’s highest recruit comes from Nevada, Chase Ditmar, as he ranked #6 in the state while also being the top-ranked third basemen. 

With these highly recruited players signing here at UNLV, there is aspiration of this trend to continue in the future. 

The anticipation of the upcoming season can not come fast enough, as everyone apart of the Rebel baseball program is looking forward to an amazing year.

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