LAS VEGAS, Nev. — UNLV scored its go-ahead eighth-inning run with the help of a West Virginia error to win 4-3 on Tuesday night, snapping the Mountaineers’ six-game winning streak.
The Rebels (11-4) remained unbeaten in nine home games by surviving a four-hit day from West Virginia center fielder Bobby Boyd. His two-out, two-strike single in the ninth extended the game before UNLV closer Brayden Torres came on and coaxed Billy Fleming’s groundout for his third save.
West Virginia (8-5), which has yet to play a home game, remains on the West Coast for a four-game series at Cal State Northridge beginning Thursday.
WVU pitchers combined for 10 walks, seven of those from first-time starter Michael Bennett, who gave up three runs over 4 2/3 innings. He left with the score notched at 3-all, which is where the bullpen kept it until the bottom of the eighth.
That’s when UNLV benefited from the wildness of reliever Corey Walter (0-2), who threw 52 pitches in a three-inning stint.
Walter issued a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Joey Swanner before Matt McCallister’s grounder was booted by WVU shortstop Taylor Munden. After Walter wild-pitched both runners into scoring position, he walked Joey Armstrong to load the bases. That preceded Justin Jones’ drive to right-center, which Boyd tracked down with an acrobatic catch to turn what looked like an extra-base hit into a sac-fly.
Bennett walked the bases full in the first inning yet could have escaped unharmed if not for a defensive lapse—first baseman Ryan McBroom, second baseman Billy Fleming and right fielder Shaun Wood letting Morgan Stotts’ two-out pop-up fall for a two-run single.
UNLV starter Kenny Oakley, who went six innings but did not factor into the decision, gave up a single to Boyd in the third inning. After taking third on a throwing error, Boyd scored on McBroom’s single, his team-leading 18th RBI.
Boyd put the Mountaineers up 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth with a two-out, two-run double.