March 19, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico baseball team began the Mountain West Conference season with a 7-5 win over Utah Friday night at Isotopes Park for its third consecutive win at home. The Lobos improve to 4-12-1 (1-0 MWC), while Utah falls to 4-12 (0-1 MWC).
UNM broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a commanding 7-4 lead. With two outs and no runners on base, Josh Mader singled to right, and then stole second. Joe Salas, the next batter, drove in Mader with a single to left, giving the Lobos a one-run advantage. Sean Murray extended the lead with a two-run shot over the left-field wall for his first homer of the season.
Utah countered with one run in the top of the eighth, but with the bases loaded and two outs, Petr Pacas limited the damage by striking out Ryan Khoury on three pitches. Salas closed the ninth for his second save in as many games.
Jason Fernandez threw a solid seven innings in the start, allowing four runs and four hits while striking out six. He improved to 2-2 for the season. Jason Price of Utah gave up six runs on 10 hits in 6.2 innings of work to drop to 1-3.
Utah jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first, but Mader tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run triple. Mader went 2-for-4 with two RBI, one run and one stolen base in the game.
The Utes went back ahead with single runs in the third and fourth innings. New Mexico trimmed the lead to 4-3 on a Matt Young RBI single in the fourth and tied the contest on a Murray run-scoring single in the fifth. Murray collected one run, two hits and three RBI in the game, while Young also delivered two hits to go along with a run and a stolen base.
New Mexico returns to action tomorrow to face Utah at 1 p.m. at Isotopes Park.