March 23, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. - The Lobos won their third-straight game by way of a 5-4 victory over the Binghamton Bearcats at Isotopes Park March 23.
"The kids are starting to do things the right way," Head Baseball Coach Ray Birmingham said. "The defensive errors are starting to disappear, and the walks are starting to disappear."
New Mexico used steady run production to take the lead in the early innings of the game, beginning with an RBI bunt single that third baseman Quay Grant laid down in the second inning to give the Lobos their first lead of the game, 1-0.
The Lobos added another run in the third off Binghamton's starting pitcher Joe Swindells, followed by two more in the fourth. Sophomore catcher Mitchell Garver produced the run in the third, with an RBI single that put the Lobos up 2-0. Freshman first baseman DJ Peterson continued his recent onslaught, as he put the Lobos up 3-0 with his first collegiate home run; a solo shot he blasted to left-center field. Shortstop Alex Allbritton extended UNM's lead to 4-0 with a bunt single that scored center fielder Sam Wilson.
After connecting on his first career homer, Peterson's teammates gave him the silent treatment as he headed back to the dugout. After about a minute of Peterson wondering what was going on, his teammates mobbed him and congratulated his accomplishment.
"The guys seem to give me a little bit of a hard time, so I took it as it was," Peterson said jokingly.
UNM's starting pitcher Richard Olsen was dominant up until the fifth inning, as he was working on a two-hit shutout through four innings. The fifth is where the Bearcats would get to Olsen, as shortstop John Howell smoked an RBI double down the left field line that closed the Lobos lead to 4-1. Center fielder Bill Beresziewicz followed with an RBI single that scored Howell, narrowing the Lobos lead to 4-2.
The Bearcats grabbed another pair of runs in the sixth to tie the game at four all. Binghamton's right fielder Peter Bregartner slammed a triple to right center that brought home two runs to tie the game up. Bregartner's triple was the final play UNM's Olsen would see, as coach Birmingham opted to bring in reliever Cory Maltz in place of Olsen. Maltz got the Lobos out of the inning by recording all three outs.
On the day, Olsen allowed four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts over five innings of work.
"I thought Olsen was cruising, and then all of a sudden lost location," Birmingham said. "He did a great job up to the fifth inning."
The game remained tied at 4-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning with the Lobos up to bat. Once again, Peterson stepped up to the plate looking for a big hit.
Petereson smashed a clutch RBI double down the left-field line off the Bearcats' Zach Juliano. Jordan Vestel, who came on to pinch-run for John Twichell, scored on the play, putting the Lobos up 5-4.
Gera Sanchez came on to close the game out for the Lobos in the ninth. The Bearcats were able to get the leadoff runner on and advance him over to second on a sacrifice bunt, making things interesting for Sanchez. With one out and a runner on second, Sanchez dug deep to get the final two outs by striking out Howell and forcing Beresziewicz into a groundout, giving the Lobos the 5-4 win.
Maltz (1-1) picks up the win for the Lobos, while Sanchez records his first save of the season.
Up next for UNM is a three-game conference series against UNLV March 25-27. Friday's game is slated for a 6 p.m. start at Isotopes Park.