|Ty Wiest (L, 0-1)||5.1||10||7||7||1||4|
LAS VEGAS — UNLV scored seven unanswered runs, four in the third and three in the sixth, to come away with an 8-3 victory to spoil the Columbia baseball team’s 2018 debut. Joe Engel paced the Lions’ offensive attack, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
The Rebels (4-1) manufactured a run right away in the bottom of the first inning when Bryson Stott singled, stole second and scored on an opposite-field single by Dillon Johnson. However, Columbia answered with runs in the second and third innings to take the lead.
With two away in the second, Engel found room up the middle for a base-hit and Ben Porter followed with a double down the rightfield line to knot things up. First-year Jack Chernow started the rally in the next frame with a one-out single and moved to second after Julian Bury drew a walk before Randell Kanemaru plated the go-ahead run with a double to left.
UNLV swiftly responded in the bottom of the inning when the first two batters reached via single and walk to set the table for the heart of the Rebels order. Kyle Isbel delivered a triple to put UNLV back in front and Nick Rodriguez added another extra-base hit to make it 4-2. Rodriguez came around on a Max Smith RBI single to tack on an insurance run.
In the sixth, homers by Jack-Thomas Wold and Stott gave the Rebels some extra breathing room, which proved to be key when the Lions threatened in the top of the ninth.
Down to its final out, Columbia kept the game going when Engel singled and the next two batters reached via walks to load the bases. UNLV went to the bullpen, but a wild pitch made it 8-3. However, Donovon McCrystal closed the door with a strikeout to end the comeback.
Ty Wiest (0-1) lasted 5.1 innings and struck out four. Chandler Bengtson notched a single to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, dating back to last season. Kanemaru is also riding an 11-game streak with his two-bagger.
The Rebels racked up 12 hits on the night and had five players record two.
The Lions and Rebels will continue their series Saturday, February 24, with a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. eastern time.