Spartans Outlast UNLV For 4-3 Win In 14 Innings
April 13, 2014
Las Vegas, Nev. --- After scoring three times in the first inning, San José State put 12 zeros on the scoreboard before bringing home the game-winning run in the top of the 14th for a 4-3 win over #20-UNLV at Earl E. Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
Matt Carroll had a career-high four hits and was responsible for all four of SJSU's runs. His 3-run double in the first, and 14th-inning RBI-single to center helped the Spartans avoid being swept by the Mountain West leading Rebels.
"During these long games you can either get really hot or really cold," Carroll said. "I was just seeing the ball well. It was a long day out there for all of us and it felt good to see that last one drop for a hit to score a run."
Both teams threatened to score multiple times throughout the late innings, but one way or another they failed to convert a run.
After Mike Simonini was hit by a pitch to start the Spartans' ninth, he was thrown out at third base on Andre Mercurio's base hit to right field. The right fielder, Eric Montes, collected the bounding hit in right, and threw a dart to the third base bag to get Simonini.
In the bottom of the ninth, Rebels' Joey Armstrong hit a two-out double to right-center. Mercurio, ranging to his left, collected an initial bobble and fired the ball to the second baseman. Jacob Valdez finished the relay with a strike to catcher Kyle Gallegos who swiped the tag on the potential game-winning run for the final out of the inning.
In the 10th, Alec de Watteville swung and missed for strike three, but the ball squirted away from UNLV catcher Eric Vanmeetren with a runner on third. De Watteville broke for first while Carroll charged home for the go-ahead run. Vanmeetren collected the loose ball and threw on to first to get de Watteville by a couple steps.
"We made some big plays out there," said Spartans head coach Dave Nakama. "I thought those were key plays to keep us in it, and we pitched really well today."
The Spartans pen combined for 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Kalei Contrades relieved SJSU starter Logan Handzlik with one out in the sixth inning. Contrades tossed the next 5 2/3 innings allowing just two hits while striking out three. James Glawe worked the 12th and recorded an out in the 13th before giving way to eventual winner, Jackson Berumen (2-0).
Berumen let out a roar as he fanned Justin Jones with runners on first and third to end a Rebels' threat in the bottom of the 13th. "I was pumped," Berumen said. "I was struggling out there and it felt good to get out of it and get that guy out."
The Rebels used only two pitchers to get through the ballgame. MW ERA leader Bryan Bonnell allowed seven hits and three earned runs in eight innings of work. Joey Lauria (2-2) went the final six innings allowing seven hits and the earned run in the 14th.
UNLV catcher Eric Vanmeetren drove in all three runs for the Rebels with an RBI-double in the first and, a fifth inning two-run single.
SJSU has avoided a sweep and won one game in every MW series in 2014. The Spartans roll on next week with a Tuesday night matchup at Santa Clara before returning home to host New Mexico in a three-game set.