CSU Gives UNLV First Conference Series Win of the Season

Austin White

Colorado State is still searching for a series win against UNLV after falling 7-4 on Saturday.

The Rams (22-17, 7-10 MW) had a 4-0 lead after the second inning, but UNLV (23-29, 6-8 MW) rallied for a a comeback win, not allowing a CSU baserunner past the third inning.

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The Rebels tied the game at four in the sixth. They were able to load the bases off of a single, hit by pitch, and a walk off of Rams’ junior Larisa Petakoff, who came in as relief for the starter Kaylynn Pierce in the fifth inning. UNLV’s Janine Petmecky hit a double that one-hopped to the fence in the left-center gap that cleared the bases, giving UNLV the final 7-4 victory.

The Rams started the game off looking like they would turn it into a blowout in the first. Senior Haley Hutton and junior Madison Kilcrease had already singled and scored before the Rams loaded the bases with one out and a 2-0 lead.

They would pick it up again in the second with a sacrifice fly by Kilcrease to score junior Hayleigh Evans and sophomore Lauren Buchanan, who singled to the right-center gap to bring home Hutton. After two innings, the Rams were up 4-0, but left five runners on base.

“I was happy we jumped on it early. I was really happy with our speed and our fast kids were executing,” head coach Jen Fisher said. “Maddy (Kilcrease) and Peach (Haley Hutton) were on so that was really good.”

UNLV would start their rally in the top of the fourth, when they were able to score three runs off three hits and a walk given up by Pierce. The Rebels loaded the bases and brought home two of the runs on a single to right field and later brought in one more from a sacrifice fly to center.

The Ram bats went ice cold after the second inning with only one runner reaching base, that one being Evans who singled in the third inning. It would be three up and three down in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings as the Rams were out hit in the game 11-5.

“Very surprised that we went that cold,” Fisher said. “It’s frustrating to see another look like that and for us to go that cold because we are not having enough pride in what we are doing.”

Petakoff unable to execute in relief Saturday by giving up three earned runs off of three hits and one walk in three innings of action. The junior hit two batters, one being Petmecky in the fifth inning who was able to get revenge with her game winning double in the sixth.

“We can’t hit bottom of the order type kids,” Fisher said. “We can’t be putting that many fast runners on, we have to take care of business.”

The win gives UNLV their first series win in conference this season after the Rebels also defeated the Rams on Friday by a score of 7-6. The Rebels did the opposite of game two in that one when they started the game off with a first inning grand slam and held a 6-0 lead after two innings. The Rams would respond with a couple home runs of their own but it would come up short as the Rebels pulled it out 7-6.

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The losses drop the Rams to eighth place in the Mountain West, which is second to last. With only one more game against UNLV and two more conference series left, the quest for the Mountain West title and a trip to the NCAA Regionals looks bleak.

“My pride is hurt and I hope theirs is too,” Fisher said. “Going into it I told the kids ‘UNLV is not going to come in here and roll over because they are in last place.’ Each person has to take personal pride in the product they are putting out on the field. It is not a matter of try harder, it’s a matter of execution.”

The Rams will look to regain their pride Sunday at 12 p.m. when they face the Rebels in the third and final game of the series.

Collegian sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ajwrules44