Russell, McDonald Deliver First MWC Win
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/29/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 29, 2006

Box Score

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior Jay Russell singled to left with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the tenth, driving in sophomore Drew McDonald for a 3-2 win over Mountain West Conference Preseason Tournament host San Diego State.

The Aztecs scored first on a solo shot to left center in the fourth from Tim O'Brien off of right-handed junior Quentin Andes,making his second start in the cherry and silver.

Sophomore Jordan Pacheco evened the score in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a sacfrice fly from junior Chris Carlson. Pacheco led off the inning, being plunked by SDSU starter Justin Masterson, then taking second on a failed pickoff attempt. Russell's grounder to short got Pacheco to third.

Despite the unearned run in the fourth, Masterson still had a no-hitter going with one out in the fifth. But three straight singles from sophomore Ian Hollick, McDonald and junior Chris Dabbs ended the no-hitter and gave New Mexico a 2-1 lead with Hollick scoring on Dabbs' hit.

But the lead didn't last long as the Aztecs' Paul Smyth led off the sixth with a home run to left.

With one out in the seventh, freshman Chad Itokazu came in to relieve Andes. Itokazu, aiming for his second win, tossed 2 hitless innnings with three walks and two strikeouts. But the offense couldn't give Itokazu any runs, stranding a runner at third with two outs in both the seventh and eighth innings.

After Itokazu surrendered a walk to O'Brien, who went to second on a sac bunt in the ninth, freshman Chace Lankford took the mound. Lankford, who is slated to start Sunday against Utah, hurled 1.2 hitless innings to give the Lobo hitters enough time to wear down Masterson, which they did in the 10th. McDonald led off with a single to left and stole second. Senior Ryan Barba took one for the team and Pacheco drew a walk to load the bases with one out, bringing Russell to the plate.

Lankford earned the win, improving to 5-2 while Masterson fell to 2-5 with the loss. The Aztecs outhit the Lobos, 6-5 and were given seven bases on balls compared to UNM's one. McDonald led New Mexico at the plate, going 2-for-4 while O'Brien led San Diego State, finishing 2-for-3.

The Lobos (18-8, 1-0 MWC) return to Tony Gwynn Stadium tomorrow for a 3 p.m. game with Air Force. It is the first game of the Preseason Tournament for the Falcons.