May 11, 2008
LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- Senior Adam Skelton picked up his second win of the season in relief today as the University of New Mexico baseball team came from behind to beat UNLV, 15-10, at Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas. Senior Matt Hibbitts led the Lobos offensively, going 5-for-5 from the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. With the win UNM is now tied with TCU at the top of the Mountain West Conference standings with a 16-5 MWC record. The Lobos are 32-20 overall. UNLV is now 20-32 overall and 8-13 in MWC action.
For the second day in a row, Brian Cavazos-Galvez drove in the game-winning run for the Lobos. Cavazos-Galvez hit a double in the top of the seventh to drive in Ian Hollick and Hibbitts to break an 8-8 tie, 10-8. Cavazos-Galvez made the score 11-8 on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Atkinson.
For the third game in a row against the Rebels, New Mexico had to come from behind to stay in the hunt for the MWC title. The Lobos scored first when Mike Brownstein scored on a Hibbitts single in the first inning, 1-0. Cavazos-Galvez drove in Hollick for the Lobos to go up 2-0 after one.
UNLV took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the second, but the Lobos responded with two runs in the third to tie the game at four. The Rebels took the lead for a second time in the bottom of the third, 5-4.
UNLV took the lead for the third time in the bottom of the fourth on a Xavier Scruggs double and home run by Michael Brenly, 8-7.
Atkinson tied the score for the Lobos in the fifth on a single by Rafael Neda, 8-8.
After gaining the lead in the seventh, 11-8, the Lobos added to their lead in the top of the ninth with four more runs, 15-8. The Rebels attempted another comeback in the bottom of the ninth but were stopped, 15-10.
Lobo pitching held the league's best hitter, Xavier Scruggs, to .231 in the three-game series. Scruggs was hitting over .400 for the season coming into the series.
With New Mexico and TCU tied for the league lead, the series in Albuquerque, May 15-17, takes on a new urgency. All three games are scheduled to start at 12 p.m. each day at Isotopes Park. Saturday's game will be telecast on The Mtn. (Comcast Channel 276). The first team to two wins in the three-game series will be the regular season league champion and earn the No. 1 seed in the 2008 Mountain West Conference Tournament, May 20-24, in Fort Worth, Texas. The Lobos last won the MWC title in 2000, the first year of the young league.