Baseball Falls To UNLV, 11-7

April 1, 2002

LAS VEGAS - Ryan Ruiz and Brent Johnson hit back-to-back home runs to leadoff the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 6-6 tie helping to lift theUNLV Rebels to a wild and controversial 11-7 non-conference baseballvictory over the 14th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils Monday evening atEarl E. Wilson Field.

The loss ends a brief two-game winning streak for the Sun Devils who fallto 20-11 on the year. ASU is now 1-2 on the year and 0-2 on the road innon-conference midweek games. UNLV improved to 1-5 against ranked opponentsthis year and are now within one game of the .500 mark at 15-16 overall.ASU and UNLV tied the two-game season series with one win apiece at thehome field. ASU won the first meeting 10-0 in seven innings March 8 atPackard Stadium.

Johnson scorched the Devils with a 4-for-4 game, falling just a tripleshort of the elusive cycle. Johnson, a freshman All-American a year ago,was 6-for-7 in the two games against ASU this year.

Relief pitcher Jered Liebeck got the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. Hegave up three runs and three hits in his three innings of relief work. BenScheinbaum picked up the win by giving up one run in two innings for theRebels.

The Devils and Rebels played to an early 1-1 tie before UNLV came up withthree runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. UNLVscored the first run on a play where Jason Reuss was actually thrown out athome plate by left fielder Rod Allen, but was allowed to score because ofinterference on ASU third baseman Dennis Wyrick.

In addition to the controversial run on the interference call, UNLV'sfourth run also crossed the plate with a question, as Brent Johnson scoredon a sacrifice fly after he arguably left third base early.

The Devils retook the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth. SteveGarrabrants tabbed a two-out double to center field and came around toscore on a single by Dustin Pedroia. After a walk to designated hitter JeffLarish, Las Vegas native Jeremy West gave ASU the lead with a two-runtriple to the right field gap.

Continuing a trend that has seen 37 balks called by the home umpiring crewat Earl E. Wilson Stadium, UNLV scored the go-ahead run in the bottom ofthe fifth with the help of three controversial balks called on ASU relieverJered Liebeck. First baseman David Trujillo plated the go-ahead run with asharp single to left field.

After Pedroia tied the game at 6-6 with a two-out single to left field inthe top of the seventh, the Rebels bounced right back in the bottom of theinning to take the lead for good with the back-to-back home runs from Ruizand Johnson. Liebeck surrendered the first long ball and then J.J. Jacksoncame in to allow a home run and committed a two-base error that eventuallyended up as the third run of the inning.

Pinch-hitter Ryan McKenna provided a lift for ASU with his first careerhome run with two outs in the eighth to bring the Sun Devils to within tworuns at 9-7. In a game filled with several controversial calls that favoredUNLV, ASU head coach Pat Murphy and first baseman Jeremy West were ejectedin the eighth inning.

ASU continues its seven-game road trip this weekend with a three-gamePac-10 series at Washington State in Pullman, Wash. ASU is off to a 4-2start in Pac-10 play and has won six straight conference series' datingback to the WSU series last year in Tempe.

UNLV 11, Arizona State 7 (Apr 1, 2002 at Las Vegas, Nev.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 010 130 110  -  7 11  4      (20-11)UNLV................ 103 020 32X  - 11 11  2      (15-16)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers:Arizona State - McClellan, Liebeck(4), Jackson(7), Perrault(7), Schroyer(8).UNLV -Seccombe, Scheinbaum(6), Weinberg(8), Maruffi(9).Win-Scheinbaum(2-0)  Loss-Liebeck(0-1)  T-3:20  A-423HR ASU - McKenna (1), HR UNLV - Ruiz, Johnson.

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