April 1, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The 18th-ranked University of New Mexico baseball team held just a one run lead before scoring nine runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 15-7 win over Texas Tech on a windy Wednesday afternoon at Isotopes Park. After dropping Tuesday's game, 8-4, the Lobos rebounded to improve to 25-5 while the Red Raiders fell to 12-18.
New Mexico carried a 6-2 lead into the top of the eighth, but the Red Raiders quickly trimmed it to 6-5 with three runs in the inning. The Lobos broke out for nine in the bottom half of the frame to cushion the lead at 15-5. New Mexico used seven hits, all singles, including two-run shots from Daniel Gonzalez and Max Willett.
Reliever Cole White, who took over in the eighth with two Raiders aboard threatening to tie it up, halted the Texas Tech threat. White allowed his first earned runs of the season by surrendering a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, but picked up the save, his third in the past five games.
Ryan Escarcega (1-1) notched the win for UNM, relieving starter Willy Kesler in the top of the third. Escarcega inherited runners on first and second with no outs and issued a walk to the first batter he faced, but wiggled out of the jam thanks to two stellar defensive plays by second baseman Mike Brownstein and a groundout to first baseman Kevin Atkinson. Escarcega, a junior out of West Mesa High School, scattered three hits over 3.2 innings with the walk in the third the only real blemish. It was the first start of the season for Kesler since undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 15, 2008. Kesler went three innings allowing two runs.
The Lobos jumped to an early 3-0 lead after two frames. Brownstein led off the first with a full count double down the left field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Willett walked, third baseman Dane Hamilton singled to right to plate Brownstein. Willett would score on a fielder's choice.
Shortstop Gonzalez provided the Lobos their one run in the third, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Willett.
Cavazos-Galvez led the Lobos in hits, going 3-for-5, while Willet had a game-high three RBI. Hamilton, Cavazos-Galvez, Courcha and Gonzalez provided two RBI apiece.
New Mexico returns to conference action this weekend, traveling to Fort Worth, Texas, in a three-game set against the 22nd-ranked TCU Horned Frogs. The series begins on Friday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. This will be the first time in league history that two nationally ranked Mountain West Conference teams will square off.