Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball Rallies for 10-Inning Victory Over UNLV
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 24, 2007
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            LAS VEGAS ?- The Arizona baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat UNLV 6-5 in 10 innings at Wilson Stadium on Friday. The victory halted a modest two-game losing skid for the Wildcats and improved them to 10-2 on the season. The Rebels saw their three-game winning streak end with the loss and their record fall to 7-7 overall.


            On a night that saw UA tie its season-high with 10 runners left on base, it was only fitting that it scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th without a single hit. After three consecutive walks by Rebel reliever Marc Baca loaded the bases, freshman Robert Abel snapped a 5-5 tie with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive home classmate Kevin Rodland with the game-winning run.


            Sophomore relievers Daniel Schlereth and Cory Burns then teamed up to close out the contest with a scoreless home half of the inning to hand Arizona its first extra-inning win of the season.


            Schlereth (1-0), who transferred to Arizona from UNLV after redshirting his freshman season with the Rebels in 2005, picked up his first victory of the year. The left-hander surrendered just two hits over 2 1/3 innings, and finished with five strikeouts against just two walks. Burns earned his first career save with a perfect inning of work in the bottom of the 10th.  


            UNLV raced out to an early 4-0 advantage after jumping all over Arizona starter Preston Guilmet in the first inning by scoring four runs on four hits, including two run homer by Chris Bonnell.


            Meanwhile, the Wildcat offense, which went silent in a pair of losses to Cal State Fullerton last week, remained cool early on the chilly Las Vegas evening. Arizona stranded six runners on base and remained scoreless through the first six innings before finally breaking through to take the lead with five runs in the seventh.


            Sophomore T.J. Steele, who had earlier extended his hitting streak to 20-straight games with an infield single in the second inning, started the UA rally with a bunt single to lead off the frame. Classmate followed with a single to left to place runners on first and second for pinch hitter Erik Castro.


            The freshman infielder delivered and put Arizona on the scoreboard with a single to right field that plated Steele from second and cut the UNLV advantage to 4-1.


            Second baseman Colt Sedbrook, who made his first start of the year after missing the first 11 games, reached on the first of two fielding errors in the inning by third baseman Xavier Scruggs when he tried to give himself up on a sac-bunt attempt.


            Scruggs’ throwing miscue on the bunt scored Peep from second to cut the UNLV advantage to 4-2 and placed runners on second and third for Abel. The freshman shortstop came through with his first of two RBI on the night when he drove home pinch runner Hunter Pace from third with a run-scoring grounder to second.


            Bill Rhinehart tied the game at 4-4 with a single to right in the next at-bat, and Jon Gaston and Brad Glenn loaded the bases for Steele with back-to-back two-out walks. Scruggs’ second error in the frame - on a potential inning-ending grounder by Steele - handed the Wildcats a 5-4 edge.


            UNLV tied the game at 5-5 with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but Schlereth took over for Guilmet with two outs in the frame and the go-ahead run at third and picked off Blake Gailen at first to end the threat and the inning.


            Individually, Steele (20 games) and Gaston (Nine games) each extended their hitting streaks for the Wildcats. Steele finished the contest 2 for 5 with a run scored, and Gaston went 1 for 4 with his second triple of the season. Rhinehart was the only other Wildcat to pair hits on the night, finishing 2 for 6 with a RBI and run scored.


            After getting roughed in the first, Guilmet settled down in the no-decision effort, limiting the Rebels to just one run on three hits over the next 5 2/3 innings before giving way to the Wildcat bullpen. He struck out seven and walked one.


            UNLV’s Baca (2-1) was charged with the loss after giving up the go-ahead run in the 10th.


            Arizona and UNLV will meet up for game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 3 p.m. MST. Left-hander Brad Mills (2-1) is the scheduled starter for the Wildcats.

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