April 23, 2004
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Despite scoring two runs in the top of the ninth, the New Mexico baseball team's rally fell short as the Lobos fell to UNLV, 5-4, Friday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in a clash between the top two teams in the Mountain West Conference. UNM now stands at 11-5 in conference play (15-20-1 overall), while the Rebels improve to 12-3 (25-14 overall).
Down 5-2 in the ninth, the Lobos scored two runs in the ninth on a two-out, two-run single by Ryan Barba that plated Daniel Stovall and A.J. Spitaleri. The next batter, Matt Young, singled to right field, but was thrown out at second by right fielder Eric Nielsen to end the game.
The Lobos led 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, but UNLV scored three times in the seventh and twice in the eighth on several New Mexico miscues in the comeback win.
In the seventh, the Rebels put runners on second and third with no outs, and scored their first run on an error by shortstop Josh Mader. UNLV followed the error with two consecutive run-scoring singles to go up 3-2.
More damage was done in the eighth as the Rebels scored two unearned runs on three Lobo errors. Nielsen led off the inning on an error by Lobo third baseman Jay Russell, advanced to second on a walk, and then scored on a wild throw by pitcher Petr Pacas. With two outs in the inning and the bases loaded, the Lobos failed to convert on a groundout, and UNLV took advantage of the error with another run.
Jason Fernandez threw a solid 6 1/3 innings for New Mexico, but still took the loss. Fernandez (5-4) allowed three runs, two earned, while scattering eight hits on five strikeouts. David Seccombe (6-1) fanned 10 batters in 7 1/3 innings of work to earn the win for UNLV. Ben Scheinbaum picked up his first save of the season.
New Mexico and UNLV will resume the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT. Live stats and audio will be available at www.GoLobos.com.
UNLV entered the week ranked No. 35 in the National Baseball Collegiate Writers Association Top 35 poll...in other Mountain West Conference action, San Diego State defeated Utah, 3-2, in San Diego...in Colorado Springs, BYU and Air Force were cancelled for the second straight day.