Cherry Takes 2-0 Series Lead with 9-5 win
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/04/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 4, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- Senior Justin Howard went 3-for-3 with a home run and two stolen bases while Chris Juarez continued his hot hitting with two hits and two RBI as the Cherry squad snagged a 9-5 win over Silver in game two of the 2009 Cherry-Silver intrasquad series. With the win, Cherry takes a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five set.

"This year's team is going to be just as good of a hitting team as last year's team," head coach Ray Birmingham said. "Justin Howard is one of the hitters who will be leading the way. Today he hit the ball 400 feet for a home run and stole home.

"I thought the Cherry pitchers, Lachappele, Kesler and Montoya, had good outings. All three were in the low 90s, so another great pitching day for Cherry. Juarez also played well, and I don't even think he is hitting as well as he can. I am excited about this group. They have an outstanding attitude. It is going to be another great year for Lobo baseball."

Silver sparked the scoring first with two tallies in the opening frame courtesy a Max Willett RBI single to plate Adam Courcha, who smacked a triple to lead off the game. Willett would cash in three batters later on a Cameron Smith sacrifice fly to left to put Silver ahead 2-0.

Cherry responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame, both of which did not require a hit to produce. Howard stroked a one-out single before Ryan Honeycutt was issued a free pass to set up the scoring. Howard proceeded to steal third and then steal home during a Juarez strikeout. Honeycutt then knotted it up at 2-2 dashing home on an error by Silver shortstop Alex Albritton.

Honeycutt received another walk in the bottom of the second to give Cherry a 3-2 lead. It was the third walk of the inning for Silver starter Bobby Mares and came with the bags loaded, but Silver answered with a run-scoring, two-out single off the bat of Cody Voelker, who paced the Silver team with three hits and two RBI, to create another deadlock at 3-3.

After both teams exchanged single runs in the fourth inning, Howard made it 5-4 with a solo shot over the left-center wall. Cherry cushioned the advantage with a run in the fifth before erupting for four runs off reliever Austin House. Four straight singles, including a two-run knock from Howard followed by a two-run double from Juarez gave the Cherry crew a 9-4 lead.

Silver would add a run in the top of the seventh thanks to a Voelker single, his third of the game, but Cherry's lead was insurmountable as Jerome Montoya-Maston nailed down two outs for a final score of 9-5 Cherry.

Mike Lachapelle, a junior transfer, pitched five innings for the Cherry squad allowing 10 hits, but just three earned runs to earn the win. Silver starter Bobby Mares took the loss after exiting with a one-run deficit after the fifth. The freshman right-hander recorded five strikeouts.

The series continues on Thursday, Nov. 4, with a 2:30 p.m. start from Lobo Field.