May 14, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Senior Justin Howard went 5-for-5 and hit his 100th hit of the season all while battling a case of strep throat in a 10-2 victory over Delaware State. Howard was diagnosed with strep on Wednesday but felt well enough to put on a show for the 1,523 in attendance at Lobo Field. He is the first player in Division I baseball to reach the 100-hit mark this season and is also the second Lobo in the last two years to reach 100 hits. The Lobos improve to 32-17 on the season. The Hornets have now lost 12 straight and fall to 12-32.
"Justin Howard got his 100th hit of the season and that's a big deal," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "He had a fever and didn't feel well and he still came out and had five hits. That was a big day for him and we needed him out there today."
"I'm pretty sick right now," said Howard. "It's part of the game though. You can't feel good everyday. You just have to come out and battle and do as much as you can for your team. I'm proud that I got my 100th hit. I've worked hard to be where I'm at. My goal is to lead the nation in hits so I'm happy right now."
Howard led the Lobos at the plate with his perfect performance and got hits No. 97-101 and three RBIs. Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda went 3-for-4 and also had three RBIs. Junior Kenny Held went 2-for-3 with one RBI. Senior Max Willett took the first pitch he saw in his first at-bat over the left-field fence for his second home run of the season. Junior Ryan Honeycutt had one RBI.
Junior Kenny Toves picked up the win for the Lobos and improved to 5-2 on the season. Toves pitched six solid innings and work himself out of several jams with commanding control of his pitch selection. Junior Richard Olson picked up his first save of the season and scattered three hits over the last three innings.
On Saturday, May 15, the New Mexico will honor its nine seniors on Senior Day. The pre-game ceremony will start at 12:30 p.m. MT and will be followed by game two against Delaware State at 1 p.m. MT. For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com.