Rebels massacre Mavericks
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UNLV showcases offensive talents in four-game series with Nebraska-Omaha
Rebel Nation showed its support on Sunday for the UNLV baseball team as the largest home crowd of the season witnessed a 20-1 win over Nebraska-Omaha.
The Rebels outscored the Mavericks 47-18 over four games as Brandon Bayardi exploded for nine hits and 12 RBI as the Rebels (17-19) won three of four games over the weekend.
“We thought coming into the season we were going to be really good offensively, and I still believe that,” said head coach Tim Chambers. “It’s never over until the end of the season, and right now is a good time to start playing well. I thought we played well all weekend.”
Bayardi has been a monster offensively as he leads the team with five home runs and is second on the team with a .368 batting average.
“I felt good, I’m seeing the ball well and everything is clicking real well for my swing right now,” Bayardi said.
The Rebels are in a unique position, as they’ll be hosting the MWC championships May 24-27. The team has enjoyed its most productive games at home this season.
Chambers said the team is capable of making the playoffs despite the mediocre record.
“We host the tournament and only four teams are getting in. If the season was over today, we wouldn’t be in the tournament on our own field,” Chambers said. “That’s our number one goal right now, to try and find a way to get into that tournament because you can win it if you get in it. If we get in it, we can cause some problems for people.”
On Sunday, Trevor Kirk hit his third home run of the season and T.J. White hit his second home run of the season as the Rebel offense backed up their optimistic talk about putting in countless hours of practice.
“I was seeing [the ball] real well today. I’ve just been fixing my swing a lot, and this weekend I felt real good,” White said. “We played real well. We’ve been playing a lot harder, and turning it around a little bit. We’re going to keep winning games and hopefully make it to the MWC tournament and we’ll see from there.”
Zak Qualls improved to 4-2 in the series opener on Friday and Erick Fedde was a workhorse for the Rebels on Saturday, going seven innings and allowing only three hits before Nick Libonati closed out the game.
Buddy Borden followed suit on Sunday, topping 100 pitches and only giving up five hits over six innings of work. After a rocky fourth inning in which he hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, and allowed a run, Borden settled down and relied on his fastball to keep the Mavericks at bay.
“I said, ‘Hey Buddy, if you throw the ball over the plate, you’ll get to stay in this game a lot longer,’” Chambers said. “Pitch count is always important and once we get to the 100-mark with our guys, we don’t like to get too much past that. They can’t catch up to him; he throws hard.”
Scott Dysinger, who has been rehabbing bruised tendons in his wrist, saw action on Sunday as he made his first pitching appearance of the season. Normally a second baseman, Dysinger made five appearances last season as a pitcher, and kept the Mavericks from scoring on Sunday.
“Dice pitched a bunch for us last year, so we always know we have that card and we’ll use him in big games too because he can pitch,” Chambers said. “He’s a good pitcher. He’ll be back in action next week.”
The Rebels will hit the road to take on UC Riverside on Tuesday and Wednesday and then come back home to host Air Force for a three-game series starting Friday to wrap up their nine-games-in-10-days tour. Student tickets for home games are free with a RebelCard.
Contact Jamie Evan Bichelman at email@example.com.