March 9, 2012
LAS VEGAS - Mark Shannon collected three hits, including a home run, and UNLV defeated visiting Washington State 2-1 in the opener of a three-game nonconference baseball series, Friday.
Joe Robinson (2-1) pitched six innings of one-run ball for the Rebels (8-6) to earn the victory and Buddy Borden struck out eight in the three-shutout innings of relief to notch his first save.
"We pitched extremely well and (Cougar Pitching Coach Gregg Swenson) did a great mixes and matching our bullpen," WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "We just have to compete better offensively and find ways to score more runs."
J.D. Leckenby (2-2) pitched into the sixth inning and gave up two runs while taking the loss. Three Washington State (7-4) relievers kept the game close by combing to pitch 2 2/3-shutout innings.
The Cougars appeared to take a 1-0 lead in the third inning when a bizarre play ended the frame. With Nate Blackham at second and Jason Monda at first with two outs, the duo attempted a double steal with Taylor Ard at bat.
UNLV catcher Scott Tomassetti's throw to second base sailed into center field and Blackham came into score. Monda was held up by Marbut coming around third and slipped. During the subsequent rundown, the home plate umpire ruled Ard had committed interference with the throw to second base resulting in an out and taking the run off the board.
In the fourth, Shannon led off with a home run to center field giving UNLV a 1-0 lead. In the fifth, Danny Higa singled, moved to second on a ground out and scored on a two-out single by Trevor Kirk.
The Cougars scored their lone run in the sixth. Monda led off with a single and moved to second when Derek Jones worked a one-out walk. Adam Nelubowich singled on the 13th pitch of his at bat to plate Monda.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kellen Camus relieved Leckenby the bases loaded and one out. He promptly struck out back-to-back hitters to keep the score 2-1.
The series continues at 2:05 p.m., Saturday.