LAS VEGAS, Nev. – UNLV scored five runs in the fourth inning that helped surge the Rebels to an 8-4 victory against UTEP, and Nevada crossed the dish five times in the sixth frame as the Wolf Pack claimed a 6-1 triumph over the Miners on Friday night at Eller Media Stadium in the DeMarini Desert Classic.
UNLV improved to 6-2, while Nevada upped its record to 4-3.
UTEP (0-7) will continue to battle for its first victory in 2017 when it takes on Boise State (1:15 p.m. MT) and Utah State (5:45 p.m.) on Saturday at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park.
UTEP 4, UNLV 8
The Miners scored three runs in the first three innings as Taylor Sargent knocked in Courtney Clayton in the first, Clayton tallied an RBI single that plated Hope Moreno in the second and Kiki Pepi scored a run on a UNLV error that gave the Miners a 3-2 lead.
But the lead was short lived.
Rebels’ Alyssa Navarro connected on a pinch-hit three-run home run that capped a five-run fourth. The inning started with three consecutive singles, while Karly Bunderson – on a sacrifice bunt attempt – reached first base on an error that paved the way for the first run to tie the contest 3-3. UNLV connected on five hits (two extra-base hits) and a walk during the fourth frame.
UNLV won despite six errors in the contest. UTEP left 11 runners on base.
Clayton finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Sargent also went 2-for-4 and registered two RBI. Cortney Smith tallied her first hit of 2017 on her first start of the season, while Lindsey Sokoloski, Kaitlin Ryder and Moreno each added a knock.
UTEP 1, Nevada 6
Sargent used her third RBI of the night to give her squad an early 1-0 edge in the first inning, while Devyn Cretz (0-1), who made her first career start, looked solid for 5.0 innings. Cretz’s only hiccup during that span was a Jennifer Purcell solo home run that tied the score. In the fifth, a pair of Wolf Pack runners were on second and third base; Cretz stepped up and forced a pair of ground outs and a pop out to keep the game tied.
But in the sixth, the Wolf Pack loaded the bases with one out on three walks. Erika Hansen started the scoring spree with an RBI single to left. Kenzi Goins, Amanda Nicholas and Raquel Martinez also tallied an RBI each in the sixth frame.
Clayton and Sokoloski each went 2-for-4. Sargent, Smith, Ryder and Mallorie Cross each tallied hits. Cretz threw 5.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts and three walks.