The NO. 7 Horned Frogs kicked off a busy 8 game in 10 day stretch with a 4-1 victory over the UNLV Rebels Thursday night at Lupton Stadium.
Starting pitching dominated most of the game. Frogs starter Kyle Winkler pitched a complete game giving up only one run on six hits and striking out five. It was Winkler’s second complete game of the season, with the other also coming against the Rebels last month in Las Vegas.
Rebel’s starter Tanner Peters was strong as well, giving up only one run until the eighth inning when he surrendered the go-ahead run on a Taylor Featherston double.
Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said that although the offense started off slow, he was pleased with his team’s hitting against such strong pitching.
“I’m very proud of the way we swung the bat tonight,” Schlossnagle said. “After the second inning we really stayed above the baseball, got deep into counts and fought with him.”
The Rebels scored their only run of the game in the first inning on a Ryan Scott sacrifice fly. After a shaky first two innings where he struggled to find the strike zone, Winkler settled down and continued to improve as the game went on.
“I was really bad to start the game but I got better as I went on,” Winkler said. “I actually felt better in the ninth inning than I did most of the game.”
The win was especially meaningful for Winker, who gave up a walk-off home run in his last outing against the Rebels in March.
“That game has been eating at me the entire season,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for tonight to get back out there and prove what I can do.”
Third baseman Jantzen Witte extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a RBI single in the third inning to put the Frogs on the board.
Both teams went scoreless until the eighth inning when shortstop, Taylor Featherston, delivered a RBI double down the left field line bringing in Brance Rivera. Jason Coats followed Featherston, extending his own hitting streak to 18 games with a RBI single to give the Frogs a 3-1 lead.
After a stolen base by Coats and a balk by UNLV pitcher Zack Hartman, Kyle Von Tungeln doubled to left to extend the lead to 4-1.
The win improves the Frogs record to 27-11 (11-2 MWC) on the season. The Frogs improved to 11-0 at home all-time against UNLV. With the loss, UNLV falls to 25-15 (4-8 MWC) on the year.
The game lasted a swift two hours and 14 minutes in front of 3,612 fans.
The Frogs and Rebels will play game two of the three game series tomorrow night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30.