Feb. 26, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and defeated the Northern Colorado Bears, 7-5. Down 5-3, freshman Mitchell Garver hit a pinch-hit bases-clearing triple that gave the Lobos a 6-5 advantage. Garver would score a run on senior Daniel Gonzalez's single for the final run of the eighth. The Lobos improved to 3-1 on the season. The Bears fall to 0-1.
"We showed a lot of character by coming back," said UNM head coach Ray Birmingham. "We are a young team and we have a lot of flaws but we are never going to give up and we are going to fight till the end. Mitchell Garver's opposite field triple was something special. I had a feeling about him and he stepped up big time."
A spectacular eighth inning started with lead-off hitter Max Willett drawing a walk. Senior Justin Howard doubled into the gap in left center that plated Willett to make the score 5-1. All-America candidate Rafael Neda hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop and looked to be called out. Neda's collision with Northern Colorado first baseman Kyle Hardman jarred the ball lose and was scored an error for Bear shortstop Tony Crudo. Howard advanced to second on the error. Junior Ryan Honeycutt's single to center drove in Howard and advanced Neda to second making the score 5-2. Senior Chris Juarez drilled a ball into left center that loaded the bases with Neda on third and Honeycutt on second. Junior Kenny Held drew a bases loaded walk that set the scene for Garver down 5-3.
Garver went opposite field, down the right field line for the first hit and the first three RBIs of his collegiate career. With the Lobos in the lead, 6-5 Garver scored on senior a Gonzalez single for the final run of the eighth and gave the Lobos a 7-5 advantage.
Juarez led the Lobos at the plate going 3-for-4 with one run. Gaver was 1-for-1 with three RBIs in his only appearance at the plate.
Senior reliever Edwin Carl (1-0) picked up his first win of the season throwing 2.2 innings giving up four hits and one earned run. Carl struck out four of the 12 batters he faced, walking one. Freshman Austin House got the first save of his collegiate career pitching the final frame, giving up one hit and fanning one batter.
The Lobos play Northern Colorado in a double-header Saturday starting at 12 p.m. MT. The first game of the double-header will broadcast live by 101.7 FM (KQTM) The TEAM. Television and radio broadcast legend Connie Alexander will call the action along side Lobo baseball alumnus Mike Foote (1976-80). For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com.