Hustlin’ Rebels dominate in Albuquerque

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Joey Walls Jr at-bat during UNLV's single-game contest against Arizona State University at the Las Vegas Ballpark. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

The Hustlin’ Rebels traveled to play the New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque for the first time since 2019, sweeping the Lobos by outscoring them 57-13 during the three-game series. 

Game One: April 1

After jumping to an early 5-2 lead in the first, the Rebels would go on to score 13 more runs while the Lobos would score one, granting UNLV the largest margin of victory so far this season with a final score of 18-3. 

The Rebels starting pitcher Josh Ibarra would be credited with his fourth win of the season after throwing 100 pitches in five innings, only allowing three runs on six hits. 

Sam Simon would take over the remaining four innings, recording his first save of the season, throwing 35 pitches, striking out one and only giving up one hit.

The Rebels would score 16 runs in the first four innings and with great defense and pitching by UNLV would hold the double-digit lead the remaining five innings. 

“I just think that it was an all around team win,” Walls said. “We had a great offensive night on the road. We pitched well and played defense which helped us keep our lead.”

Joey Walls was Rebel of The Game after going 3-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and four RBIs. Walls also hit his fifth home run of the season and was a triple away from hitting a cycle.

Walls wasn’t the only one with a strong offensive performance as Diego Alarcon would hit his fifth home run of the season in the top of the second and would finish with four RBIs on the night.

Another strong offensive performance would come from freshman Braden Murphy, as he ended the night with three hits and four RBI’s on six at-bats. 

Game Two: April 2

Noah Beal on the mound pitching during UNLV’s second game against the Air Force Falcons. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

The Rebels would start game two just like they started the opening game of the series, scoring five runs on five hits in the top of the fourth.

Pitching was a big part of the win for the Rebels again as Noah Beal earned his fifth win of the season pitching six innings, only giving up three runs on five hits. 

Troy Balko would come in the remaining three innings to earn his first save of the season, only giving up one run on four hits and throwing five strikeouts. 

UNLV would extend to a 9-0 lead before the Lobos were able to put one on the board in the bottom of the fourth.

With a 9-1 lead, the Rebels would add three more runs on four hits in the sixth, which included Walls’ sixth home run this season and second of the series.  

UNLV would end the game with 12 runs in six innings, while the Lobos would only be able to add three more on the board, sealing the 12-4 game two victory for the Rebels and series win. 

Walls would be named Rebel of the Game for the second night in a row after going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, three RBIs, and his sixth home run of the season. 

Game Three: April 3 

Going for the series sweep, Noah Mattera would be the starting pitcher for the Rebels, throwing his first strikeout in just four pitches. 

In five innings, Mattera would throw 77 pitches which included 50 strikes. Mattera would strike out four, giving up three runs on six hits granting him his fourth win of the season.

The Rebels would start the scoring off a sacrifice pop-fly by Murphy that would score Walls to put UNLV on the board 1-0.

UNLV would get up to a 3-1 lead at the end of the fourth before taking a huge lead the following inning. The top of the fifth would be the turning point for the Rebels, as they scored 10 runs in the fifth, starting off with Rylan Charles’ second home run of the season. 

In the top of the sixth, Murphy and Bigani would hit back-to-back home runs to put the Rebels up 16-3. It would mark Murphy’s second home run of the season and Bigani’s fifth. 

Santino Panaro at-bat hitting a ball during UNLV’s three-game series sweep against the Air Force Falcons. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

Shortly after, Walls would hit the first grand slam of the season bringing in Alarcon, Austin Kryszczuk, and Charles to extend UNLV’s lead to 20-3. 

In the seventh, the Rebels would add five more runs on the board to the Lobos one run bringing the Rebels to a 25-4 lead. 

UNLV would add one more run in the eighth and one in the ninth to end the third game of the series with a 27-6 victory, breaking their previous largest margin of victory by six runs. 

Walls would be named the final Rebel of The Game for the series, going 4-for-5 at the plate with six RBIs, three doubles, and a grand slam. Walls would finish the three-game series with three home runs, 13 RBIs while going 8-of-12 at the plate. 

The Rebels are now 11-1 in conference play for the first time ever after sweeping the Lobos this past weekend and remain at the top of the Mountain West standings. 

Up Next

The Hustlin’ Rebels will return to Earl E. Wilson Stadium to hold a single-game contest against UC Riverside on Tuesday, April 5. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Students can get their tickets for free at unlvtickets.com.

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