LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The UNLV Rebels landed a big early punch and captured Game 1 of a three-game series against visiting New Mexico on Friday night.
UNLV scored six first-inning runs, getting back-to-back home runs from Joey Armstrong and Erik VanMeetren, and rolled to an 11-2 victory at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. The Rebels (26-15, 13-8 Mountain West) snapped a five-game losing streak and put an end to the Lobos’ nine-game winning stretch.
Trailing 6-0 after one inning, New Mexico (31-12-1, 14-5) had plenty of scoring chances against UNLV ace Erick Fedde (8-2). The Lobos had nine hits and drew two walks in Fedde’s 72/3 innings of work. But they were unable to get a key hit and four times struck out with runners at third base. UNM’s only run against Fedde came on Lane Milligan’s bases-loaded ground-out that made the score 6-1 in the fourth.
Aided by sloppy UNM defense, the Rebels put it away against Lobo reliever Drew Bridges, who was making his first appearance since leaving a March 14 start with shoulder soreness. Bridges was rusty, allowing five runs in two innings.
Chase Harris and Andre Vigil had three hits each for UNM.
GRAND CANYON 6, NMSU 3: In Phoenix, Andrew Naderer pitched eight strong innings to lead the Antelopes (22-17, 11-5) to a Western Athletic Conference win over the Aggies (16-21, 7-6). Naderer allowed just one run on three hits and struck out eight. NMSU rallied for two runs and brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Michael Medina grounded out to end it.