Nate Burnham was 4-for-6 in Wednesday's loss to UNLV.
May 23, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Adam Moser struck out Corey Shimada with runners at the corners to preserve sixth-seeded UNLV's come-from-behind 6-5 victory in 10 innings over third-seeded Utah in the opening game of the Mountain West Conference Baseball Championship at Earl E. Wilson Stadium Wednesday.
The Rebels, who improved to 23-34 overall, advanced to face top-seeded TCU on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT. The Utes, who fell to 24-30, dropped into the losers' bracket and will play Wednesday night at 7 p.m. PT against the loser of San Diego State vs. New Mexico in an elimination game.
Utah led 4-1 in the eighth inning before UNLV rallied to tie the game with three runs. In the 10th, the Rebels got a lead-off double from Ryan Kowalski before a walk to Keith Smith. After Blake Gailen's sacrifice advanced the runners, Xavier Scruggs stroked a single through the middle to give his team a 5-4 lead. Efren Navarro Jr. then hit a sacrifice fly to give the Rebels their biggest lead of the game. Chad Cullers (4-5) surrendered both runs and was tagged for the loss.
In the bottom of the inning, the Utes, who banged out 16 hits on the day, answered with an RBI single by Nate Burnham but with the tying run on third base, Moser got Shimada swinging to end the game to earn his fifth save of the season. Marc Baca (4-3) pitched two innings of scoreless relief to pick up the victory.
UNLV, who finished with 15 hits, left a staggering 15 men on base but still managed to carry a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning after a strong beginning by starter Craig Heyer. However, Jay Brossman led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and then went to third on Dustin Hennis' double that dropped just inside the right field line. John Welsh hit a fly ball out that was too shallow to score the run but Bret Baldwin poked an RBI single through the right side of the infield. Jesse Shriner then hit a ball to shortstop Braden Walker who held the ball instead of throwing home while Hennis scored to give Utah a 2-1 lead. Erich Kemp then singled to load the bases with one out. Mike Mitchell's smash to third was scooped up by Scruggs who stepped on third and then looked for the double play but his throw to first got by first baseman Navarro Jr. as Baldwin scored. Nate Burnham then pushed a single to left field, scoring Kemp. The Rebels successfully appealed that Mike Mitchell missed third base en route to scoring the fifth run and that ended the wild inning with Utah leading 4-1.