April 22, 2011
PROVO, Utah - The UNM baseball squad grinded and gutted one out against BYU, as the Lobos won their second-straight game over the Cougars by a score of 7-5.
The Lobos were able to come out on top in what was proved to be an extremely close game against the BYU Cougars. BYU took the lead early, but found out quickly that UNM was there for a fight, as the Lobos had an answer for every BYU score. BYU went up 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth, and right on cue, the Lobos answered with three in the top of the fifth. The Cougars went up 5-4 in the seventh and the Lobos came right back with three in the eighth, to take the lead, 6-5. The Lobos added another run in the ninth, winning the game by a final score of 7-5, as the Cougars couldn't answer the bell once the Lobos took the lead for good.
BYU got things started in the fourth, as it put up four runs on Lobos' starting pitcher Jake McCasland. Cougars' catcher Wes Guenther brought home the first run with an RBI double to right center. Designated hitter Alex Wolfe followed with a two-run homer to right, and second baseman Dane Nielsen gave the Cougars the 4-0 lead on an RBI single up the middle.
The Lobos refused to let the Cougars get comfortable, as they answered right back with three runs in the top of the fifth. Freshman center fielder Sam Wilson plated the first run with an RBI single up the middle off BYU's starter Chris Capper. Kyle 'Beep' Stiner laid down a sacrifice bunt on the very next play, scoring Quay Grant from third. Junior left fielder Luke Campbell closed the scoring out, as he cut the Cougars' lead to 4-3 with an RBI sacrifice fly that brought home Wilson.
UNM's sophomore reliever Bobby Mares come on to replace McCasland, after McCasland walked the first two batters of the seventh inning. McCasland left the game after giving up five runs on six hits while striking out seven in six innings of work. Mares got the first batter he faced to ground to the third baseman Grant, but Grant muffed the throw to first, allowing BYU's Nielsen to score from third. The Cougars extended their lead to 5-3 at the end of seven.
Freshman first baseman DJ Peterson helped keep things close for the Lobos, as he slammed a solo home-run to left in the top of the eighth, narrowing the Cougars' lead to 5-4. Peterson's homer prompted BYU to change pitchers, bringing in senior Jared Miller for Capper. Miller gave up a single to Lobos' DH John Twichell and got pinch-hitter Ben Woodchick to strike out, before being replaced by reliever Justin Shutt. Coming on with just one out in the inning, Shutt surrendered a two-run double to the Lobos' Alex Allbritton. Allbritton's double proved to be the go-ahead run, and also gave the Lobos' their first lead of the game, 6-5.
The Lobos weren't about to mess around after claiming the lead, bringing in their top reliever, junior Gera Sanchez, in the bottom of the eighth to finish out the games' final two innings. Sanchez sat the Cougars down in order in the eighth and struck out three-straight batters in the ninth to win the game.
The Lobos have now reeled off two-straight victories, after having lost seven in a row coming into the series with BYU.
UNM improves to 12-27 (6-7, MWC) with the victory, as the win goes to Mares (2-4) and the save goes to Sanchez (6).
The Lobos have a chance sweep the Cougars tomorrow in the final game of the three-game series. The game is slated for a 12 p.m. MT start.