April 18, 2012
LUBBOCK, Tex. – The University of New Mexico baseball team withstood a late-inning rally and defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 6-4 Wednesday afternoon to earn its first mid-week series sweep this season.
The win also moved UNM above .500 (19-18) for the first time since finishing the 2010 season with a 38-22 record.
Starting pitcher Sam Wolff allowed only one unearned on one hit in five innings to earn his first career win.
The Lobos added two more in the fourth. Alex Real scored on a groundout by Kyle Stiner, and a two-out single by Chris Nunez knocked in Trey Porras to increase UNM’s lead to 3-0. The Red Raiders added an unearned run in the bottom half of the frame, but it came without the benefit of a hit. Wolff held Texas Tech hitless until Nick Hanslick led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to center.
The Lobos increased their lead to 5-1 with some clutch hitting in the seventh. Woodchick led off with a walk and Peterson singled to put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt by Ryan Padilla put two men in scoring position for yesterday’s hero, Alex Real. A sharp groundout to short forced both runners to hold, however, to bring up Porras with two outs.
With the count 1-2 he fouled off three straight pitches before lashing a double to left to score both runners. The Lobos added one more in the top of the eighth, and that’s when the Red Raiders’ bats came alive.
Texas Tech started the inning with a triple, a walk, and a single to cut the lead to 6-2. Brandon Ward-Hersee struck the next two hitters, but two more singles cut the lead to 6-4 and brought the Red Raiders best hitter, Jamodrick McGruder to the plate with runners on the corners.
Hobie McClain, the fourth pitcher of the inning for the Lobos, battled tough and, on a full count, eventually induced a groundball to short. Alex Allbritton gathered it in and threw out the speedy McGruder at first to end the inning.
A leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth brought the tying run to the plate for three-straight batters, but McClain induced three groundball outs to earn his first career save.
Peterson, who finished 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI, was one of four Lobos with multiple hits. Garver, Woodchick, and Porras each had two apiece.
What is most impressive about the Lobos’ performance is they are winning at a time when they are more banged up than they have been at any point this season. Two starters from 2011, Luke Campbell and Logan Lippert, have missed every game this season, Woodchick is still nursing a sore knee, and center fielder Josh Melendez missed both games against the Red Raiders with a sore shoulder. Melendez had previously started every game this season.
After playing 12 of their previous 14 games on the road, the Lobos return home for an eight-game homestand beginning this Friday at noon (MT) against Florida Gulf Coast. It is the first ever meeting between the two teams. The Lobos are looking to set a school record by winning their seventh-straight weekend series.