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Baseball Falls To UNLV, 11-7
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/01/2002
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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April 1, 2002

Box Score

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

The loss ends a brief two-game winning streak for the Sun Devils who fall to 20-11 on the year. ASU is now 1-2 on the year and 0-2 on the road in non-conference midweek games. UNLV improved to 1-5 against ranked opponents this 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 the home field. ASU won the first meeting 10-0 in seven innings March 8 at Packard Stadium.

Johnson scorched the Devils with a 4-for-4 game, falling just a triple short 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. He gave up three runs and three hits in his three innings of relief work. Ben Scheinbaum picked up the win by giving up one run in two innings for the Rebels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASU continues its seven-game road trip this weekend with a three-game Pac-10 series at Washington State in Pullman, Wash. ASU is off to a 4-2 start in Pac-10 play and has won six straight conference series' dating back 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)
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-423
HR ASU - McKenna (1), HR UNLV - Ruiz, Johnson.

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