June 2, 2003
By Slim Smith
East Valley Tribune
UNLV had run out of pitching long before Sunday's Tempe Regional final against Arizona State. The Rebels sent out Adam Lesko, who sported a 9.27 ERA, against the Sun Devils, who had scored 36 runs in their previous two games. The results were predictable: Lesko lasted just one-third of a inning and ASU pounded UNLV 16-1 to advance to a Super Regional meeting with Cal State Fullerton this weekend.
UNLV baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle, having lost two pitchers to injury, wasn't surprised.
"It's a travesty in college baseball; it's the most under-scholarshipped sport in the NCAA,'' Schlossnagle said. "You've got 11.7 (scholarships) and the average roster is 34 (players). It's a joke.''
Schlossnagle's reference to the scholarship limitations is noted here to provide context to something the UNLV coach would say a few minutes later when he was asked about the play of ASU sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia.
"When I was (coaching) at Tulane, I sat next to Dustin and his parents after the Area Code games and I told him, 'If the NCAA rules allowed me to, I'd give you two scholarships.' "
Pedroia's value is, indeed, hard to overestimate.
Pedroia went 8-for-16 in the Tempe Regional and was named the MVP of the tournament, but stats alone don't do justice to his performance.