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UNLV ace Fedde to have season-ending Tommy John surgery

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV baseball pitcher Erick Fedde throws in the bullpen during a media availability day Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014.

UNLV Baseball Pitchers Excel

UNLV baseball pitchers Erick Fedde, 20, Kenny Oakley, 25, Bryan Bonnell,11, and John Richy, 45, at the Earl E. Wilson Stadium on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Launch slideshow »

UNLV pitching ace Erick Fedde will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to fix a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, the university announced today.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander, an All-American candidate, was projected as a first-round selection in June’s MLB First-Year Player Entry Draft. It takes more than one year to rehabilitate from the injury, creating uncertainty for Fedde’s professional future.

“Erick has a tremendous work ethic and I truly believe that he will bounce back from this,” UNLV coach Tim Chambers said in a statement. “He is the ultimate teammate and will be with the guys as we look to finish the year strong. His teammates and coaches will also be there to support him 100 percent.”

It’s a big blow to the Rebels (30-18, 17-8 Mountain West), who are contending for a NCAA Tournament berth for the first time in nearly a decade. With the junior Fedde as UNLV’s Friday night starter, the Rebels were tough to beat.

He finishes with an 8-2 record and a 1.76 ERA, striking out a Mountain West-best 82 batters in 76 2/3 innings and limiting the opposition to a .209 batting average.

John Richy filled in admirably Friday in Fedde’s absence, picking up his league-leading ninth victory in a 6-1 victory against San Diego State. Richy yielded just one run in eight innings.

“I really feel bad for Erick and his family,” Chambers said. “It is really a tough situation because, in my opinion, he has been the best pitcher in the Mountain West and it’s really disappointing for his season to end this way.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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