Preparing For Pepperdine

Rebels travel to Malibu for mid-week matchup.


March 18, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

UNLV REBELS

The Rebels swept the conference-opening three-game series with Air Force over the weekend and moved their overall record to 16-7.

Eric Nielsen continues to lead the team with a .433 (26-for-60) batting average. With six home runs and six doubles, Nielsen's season slugging percentage is a team-high .833.

Brent Johnson hit .412 over the last four games. He struck out only once in 17 at-bats and did not commit an error in three games at third base and one at center field. He was also 3-for-3 in stolen bases.

Johnson has 12 multiple-hit games this season: nine two-hit games, two three-hit games and one four-hit game.

As a team, the Rebels have 40 home runs this season from 11 different players. Four players, Nielsen, Fernando Valenzuela, Ryan Ruiz and Robert VanKirk have six homers each.

PEPPERDINE WAVES

The Waves (11-9, 3-0 West Coast Conference) enter Tuesday's game having lost four of their last five games.

David Uribes leads the team with a .324 (23-for-71) batting average. Cory Brightwell leads the team with eight doubles and Chris Kelly leads the team with six home runs. Each have a team-high 15 RBI.

SERIES VS. PEPPERDINE

Pepperdine holds a slim 15-14 series lead. The last meeting came during the 1999 season in Malibu, Calif., when the Wave took both meetings over the Rebels.

INJURY UPDATE

David Seccombe left Saturday's game against Memphis in the second inning with a strain in his throwing elbow and did not play the following weekend against Air Force.

HITTING STREAKS

Brent Johnson has the longest hitting streak on the team at seven games. Eric Nielsen and Robert VanKirk share the next longest streak at three games.

YES, HE IS

Rebel junior Fernando Valenzuela is the son of former major league pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.

Fernando Valenzuela Sr. began his professional career on September 15, 1980, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and played 17 years for six different teams.

REBEL BASEBALL, IT'S A HIT!

Air Force pitchers hit five Rebel batters over the weekend, upping UNLV's season total to 53 hit batters. The total hit batsmen committed by UNLV and its opponents this season is 84.

Villanova pitcher James Russell set an NCAA record for hit batsmen in an inning during the Feb. 22 game. He hit five batters in 0.1 innings of work.

EARLY RECOGNITION

Junior RHP Robbie Van was named the No. 18 prospect in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League by Baseball America. League managers and professional scouts were polled for the list, which included the top 30 players from the summer circuit.

Baseball America began rating the best Cape Cod League prospects in 1990.

Excerpt From Baseball America on Robbie Van: As a lefthanded reliever, Van could be on an express route to the majors. He opened the summer on Yarmouth-Dennis as a fill-in player, and when the Red Sox ran out of roster spots he joined Orleans. Van throws a low-90s fastball and had the consensus best slider on the Cape.

BASEBALL AMERICA

Baseball America predicted UNLV will finish second in the Mountain West Conference this season, behind first place San Diego State.

Other preseason conference honors included Ryan Ruiz, Brent Johnson and Robbie Van on the preseason all-conference list. Van was also picked as the preseason MWC Pitcher of the Year.

Four of the five "top newcomer" picks belonged to the Rebels (Ryan Braun, Stephen Ghutzman, Fernando Valenzuela and Patrick Dobson).

VOSE NAMED MWC PITCHER OF THE WEEK - MARCH 10

Junior lefthander Jake Vose was named the Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Week on March 10. This is the first weekly honor for Vose.

Vose, from Las Vegas, struck out nine and walked one in six innings of work as the Rebels downed Memphis, 13-4. He scattered two hits in the game, and improved his record to 3-3 on the season.

JOHNSON NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - MARCH 3

Junior outfielder Brent Johnson was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on Monday, March 3. Johnson is now a three-time award winner.

Johnson went 6-for-13 from the plate last week, while helping the Rebels to a 1-2 record against instate rival Nevada, Reno. He was 2-for-5 with a home run and a double, while driving in three runs in UNLV's 13-5 win over Nevada. He was 1-for-3 with a home run in a 14-6 loss to Nevada and closed out the series by going 3-for-4 with a homer in a 7-3 loss to the Wolf Pack.

For the week, Johnson hit .462 with three home runs and five RBI.

NIESEN NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - FEBRUARY 10

Eric Nielsen was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week after the Rebels' three-game sweep over College of Charletson.

Nielsen, from Las Vegas, Nev. (Silverado HS), posted an .833 batting average. In two games played, he went 5-for-6 from the plate with three doubles, two RBI and a home run.

FAB 50

Joe Wickman and Robbie Van were listed in the Baseball America Top 50 College Prospects by Class.

Wickman was listed at the No. 38 Sophomore and Van was listed as the No. 45 junior.

Wickman and Van were also listed as the fourth and fifth top prospects in the Mountain West Conference. Patrick Dobson rounded out the list as the No. 10 prospect in the conference.

PICKED THIRD BY THE CONFERENCE

For the fourth straight year, San Diego State was picked to win the Mountain West Conference regular season baseball championship. In a vote of the six MWC head coaches, the Aztecs received five of six first-place votes, while New Mexico received one.

The Aztecs collected 25 points to capture the top spot in the poll. BYU earned 19 points to place second in the poll, followed by UNLV (17 points), Utah (12 points), New Mexico (11 points) and Air Force (six points).

After placing fifth in the MWC race three straight years, UNLV was picked third in this year's poll. The Rebels were 30-30 (13-17 MWC) overall last year under first-year head coach Jim Schlossnagle.

SCHLOSSNAGLE RADIO SHOW

UNLV baseball fans will have the opportunity to hear from head coach Jim Schlossnagle each Monday on the "Jim Schlossnagle Radio Show".

The half-hour radio show, featuring the Rebels' second-year head coach, will air each Monday at 6 p.m. on KSHP 1400AM. The weekly radio show will originate during the course of the regular season from Glory Days Grill at 10075 S. Eastern Avenue in Henderson.

AUTOMATIC BID

Twenty-nine conferences receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. 2001 marked the first season the Mountain West Conference received an automatic bid. The winner of the MWC Championships, held in Albuquerque, N.M. May 21-24, will receive the automatic bid.

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

The 2003 Mountain West Conference Baseball Championship will be hosted by New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M.. All six Mountain West Conference teams will compete in the double-elimination tournament May 21-24. Seedings will be decided by regular season results in conference games.

All requests for media credentials for the Mountain West Conference Baseball Championship should be submitted in writing to Assistant Director of Communications Ron Christian at the MWC office or New Mexico Baseball Contact Ron Gonzales prior to the event.

Related Stories