Despite closing the regular season with four straight losses, UNLV claimed a berth in the four-team Mountain West baseball tournament Saturday by virtue of San Jose State’s 8-2 loss at Air Force.
The Rebels (27-27, 14-16) wrapped up the regular season with an 11-4 loss to regular-season league champion Fresno State (35-14-1, 20-8-1) on Saturday at Wilson Stadium.
McCarthy Tatum hit a three-run homer in the first inning for the Bulldogs, and Zach Presno hit a two-run double in Fresno State’s four-run third.
Edarian Williams and Grant Robbins each had two hits and an RBI for UNLV, which was outhit 13-11.
Fresno State starter Nikoh Mitchell (3-4) allowed two runs on six hits and no walks and struck out six over five innings.
Carter Bins went 3-for-5 with an RBI and scored twice, J.T. Arruda went 2-for-5 with a double, Emilio Nogales went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Matt Ottino went 2-for-3, and Zach Ashford hit a two-run single for the Bulldogs.
Rebels starter Chase Maddux (3-6) allowed seven runs on seven hits and one walk over 2 1/3 innings.
San Diego State (32-23, 16-13) is seeded second, UNLV third and UNR (29-24, 14-16) fourth for the Mountain West tournament, scheduled for Thursday through May 26 in Reno.
The Rebels will open play in the double-elimination tournament against San Diego State at 2 p.m. Thursday. Fresno State faces UNR at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Aiwen Zhu was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association senior player of the year for the Mountain Region, and coach Kevin Cory and assistant Tetiana Luzhanska each received the region’s top honor for their respective roles.
Zhu, 29-7 in singles and 25-8 in doubles this season, is the fourth Rebel to be named the region’s top senior, joining Lucia Batta (2014), Kristina Nedeltcheva (2010) and Marianne Vallin (1997).
Cory was named the region’s top coach for a fourth time and for the first time in six years. This marked the third time and first since 2002 that UNLV gained the top region awards for both head and assistant coaches.
The Rebels finished 18-7, winning the Mountain West’s regular-season and tournament titles, and upset No. 26 Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA Championship.