UNLV Baseball won its first series at home after defeating Cal Poly, 15-3 in the deciding game this past Sunday, taking the three-game series 2-1.
“Offensively, we had a good weekend,” Head Coach Stan Stolte said. “Our offense played good enough to win the games but Joey [Walls] is a big part of it.”
Walls, leading the Rebels in batting average so far this season with a .500, had 15 at bats this series with eight hits, six RBI’s, and four runs.
Game One, March 4
The three-game series kicked off Friday night against the Cal Poly Mustangs as they took an early 3-0 lead through the first three innings. The Rebels were able to get on the board at the bottom of the fourth after Austin Kryszczuk hit a solo home run.
Later in the inning, Joey Walls would single to left field that would score Diego Alarcon to put them behind 2-3. The next two innings would be scoreless before the Mustangs extended their lead by one in the top of the seventh.
UNLV would begin to close in on Cal Poly’s lead, Rylan Charles would score in the eighth after Zeisler singled to right field. In the ninth, Gianni Horvat would hit a ground ball that would send Santino Panaro home to tie the game, sending it to extra innings.
Cal Poly would go on to score twice in the tenth putting them up 6-4 setting UNLV up for the comeback and walk-off win.
The comeback started with Eric Bigani singling it to right field that would score Walls and advance Edarian Williams to third. Back-to-back wild pitches by the Mustangs would cause Williams and Braden Murphy to score, securing the first victory in the series 7-6.
Game Two, March 5
The second game in the series began Saturday afternoon with UNLV getting on the board first after a hit to center field by Walls drove Kryszczuk home.
Bigani would add to the lead by hitting a home run in second to put the Rebels up 2-0. Cal Poly would get on the board and score four unanswered points starting with a home run by Brett Borgogno.
UNLV would tie it in the fifth after 2 RBI’s, one from Alarcon and one from Enrique Bennett. Cal Poly would take back the lead through the sixth and seventh inning by scoring three unanswered to put them up 4-7.
In the bottom of the seventh, UNLV would score seven unanswered runs, the scoring begin as Walls drove one down the left sideline which would score Kryszczuk. Walls would later score along with Alarcon, Williams, Jordan Andrade, and Austin Pfeifer.
The Mustangs would begin their comeback starting with Lee Broos hitting a home run at the top of the ninth followed up by six runs, to give Cal Poly a 10-15 lead. The Rebels were only able to add one more run on the board, sealing the 11-15 victory for the Mustangs.
Game Three, March 6
With the series tied 1-1, the deciding game started Sunday at noon as Noah Mattera took the mound for the Rebels.
Pitching and hitting led the way for the Rebels to earn a 15-3 victory, their biggest margin of victory so far this season.
Mattera would be credited for the win, pitching seven innings and only giving up seven hits and three runs.
“It was big but it’s just what coach taught us,” Mattera said. “Pound and get ahead, it worked out, we played well.”
“It was huge [Mattera’s performance],” Head Coach Stan Stolte said. “Especially after yesterday’s last few innings, just horrendous how our pitching went and he saved us. We didn’t have much of a bullpen left and he came in and gave us seven great innings.”
Zeisler led the way in scoring, running home a total of four times while having four hits on five at bats. The turning point would be after Williams hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth that gave the team a huge boost stretching the lead to 10.
“It felt good,” Williams said. “After yesterday, a tough loss, it just felt good to help the team win today and bounce back in a big way.”
The Rebels would add on three more runs to Cal Poly’s one to walk away with the 15-3 win and series victory.
The Rebels will hit the road to face their first conference opponents of the season, the San Diego State Aztecs in a three-game series starting Friday, Mar. 11 at 6 p.m. UNLV Baseball will return home to host Air force in a three-game series beginning on Mar. 18, first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.