Valparaiso opened a four-game weekend series at UNLV on Friday evening, but the Rebels limited the Crusaders to just six hits on the evening while posting a 12-2 win over the Brown and Gold at Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Crusaders were held off of the scoreboard until the eighth inning when Valpo plated a pair of unearned runs. Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro H.S.) singled to right with one out before scoring on a two-out error as Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) reached. Gaedele then scored on a double down the right field line by Ryan O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.).
UNLV took the lead in the opening inning, scoring an unearned run. The Rebels added to the lead in the second on a three-run homer by Trevor Kirk.
The Rebels maintained their 4-0 lead into the sixth inning when the hosts plated five more runs, capitalizing on four hits and a Crusader error. UNLV added three more in the seventh, all on a home run by Brandon Bayardi to take a 12-0 lead before Valpo found the scoreboard in the eighth.
Will Hagel (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.) had a pair of hits for the Brown and Gold in the loss. Kirk went 3-for-6 with three runs and four batted in for UNLV while Richie Jimenez also had a three-hit game as part of the Rebels 12-hit attack.
Tanner Peters earned the win (4-0) for UNLV, pitching eight innings and allowing just the two unearned runs and five hits. He struck out nine and has not allowed an earned run all season.
Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) suffered the loss (0-3) for Valpo, working 5.2 innings. He allowed seven hits and five runs while striking out five.
Valparaiso (1-12) and UNLV (13-3) will continue the weekend series Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader at Wilson Stadium. First pitch of the opener is set for 4:05 p.m. CST.