Feb. 22, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Newcomer Ryan Honeycutt made his case today to become a regular in the University of New Mexico lineup as the baseball team beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 14-4, and finish the four-game series 3-1. Honeycutt, a Las Cruces High School graduate, was 4-for-4, 3 runs scored, a double, a home run and 4 RBI on the day to pace the Lobos in his first start of the season in left field.
"What a great day for our New Mexico kids," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "Ryan Honeycutt and Daniel Gonzalez out of Las Cruces, Bobby Moore from Moriarty, all had strong outings today. Our Denver connection of Max Willett, Cameron Smith and Chris Juarez didn't do too shabby either with solid play at the plate and on defense."
Honeycutt got things going for the Lobos (3-1) in the second inning with the first UNM hit of the day, a single to center field. The sophomore transfer from Central Arizona College scored two batters later, along with right fielder Chris Juarez, when designated hitter Dan Hayduk cleared the bases trying to stretch a double into a triple giving UNM a 2-0 lead.
TAMU-Corpus Christi (1-3) manufactured three runs in the top of the third off of four hits and a Lobo error to take their only lead of the game, 3-2.
Honeycutt scored his second run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on a balk by Islander starter Brandon Orr (0-1) to tie the game at 3-all.
The Lobos picked up three insurance runs, including an RBI double from Honeycutt, for starter Bobby Moore (1-0) in the bottom of the fifth inning to give UNM a 6-3 lead and seal the win for the senior leftie. Moore, a Moriarty High School product, ended up throwing five innings, giving up six hits, three runs and two walks, while striking out one.
Honeycutt capped off his day with a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to put UNM ahead, 9-4. Substitute catcher Adam Courcha went into Honeycutt's six-hole slot in the line-up for the eighth inning and completed the cycle in that spot with an RBI triple, putting the Lobos up 13-4.
Juarez, a transfer from Cochise College in Arizona, had a solid day hitting right behind Honeycutt and Courcha, going 4-for-5 with 2 runs scored, and an RBI in the eighth to score Courcha for the 14-4 final.
Courcha's triple gave the Lobos 11 total through the first four games of the season. UNM only had 25 triples in all of 2008, 11 in 35 non-conference games.
Kevin Atkinson also went 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI, while Rafael Neda also finished with multiple hits, 2-for-4. Dane Hamilton, who had solid hitting all series, was walked three times in five plate appearances in the Sunday finale.
New Mexico returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 24, for a two-game series with Texas Tech in Lubbock. Game times at Dan Law Field are set for 3 p.m. on Tuesday and 1 p.m. on Wednesday (Mountain Time Zone).