May 22, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico baseball team scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a dramatic 5-4 victory over UNLV Saturday afternoon at Isotopes Park. The win gives the Lobos (20-10 MWC) the No. 2 seed and a bye in the first round of next week's Mountain West Conference Tournament, and pushes UNLV (20-10) back to a No. 3 seed. The Lobos claimed the season series over the Rebels, 4-2. San Diego State (19-9) claimed the conference title and the No. 1 seed with a win over Utah earlier Saturday afternoon.
Down 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Lobos (24-27-1 overall) put together a four-run rally on five hits. Daniel Stovall blasted the first pitch of the inning deep to right-center field, sparking the rally. Sean Murray then singled to center field, which knocked out UNLV (33-22 overall) starter Matt Luca. Luca fired eight innings, striking out five and allowing eight hits. The Rebels chose Ben Scheinbaum to close the rally, but the hits kept coming for the Lobos.
Garrick Haymore, the next batter, doubled down the right-field line, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Ryan Barba made it 5-3 as he delivered a single through the left-side of the infield, and then advanced to second on a throwing error by the left-fielder. Jeff Grady then hit a deep drive to right field for a sacrifice fly to tie the game, plating Haymore and sending Barba to third. With one out and the infield in, Matt Young hit a shot off the glove of Rebel second baseman Ryan Kowalski to drive Barba in for the game-winning run.
Young went 3-for-5 with a run in the game, while Josh Mader and Haymore each tallied two hits.
Joe Salas improved his record to 4-1 for the season after pitching the eighth and ninth innings. UNM starter Cooper Eddy pitched a brilliant seven innings, striking out a season-best nine batters while scattering seven hits on three runs.
Scheinbaum took the loss for UNLV (3-5).
The Rebels took an early 2-0 lead after two and a half innings, but a Mader RBI single in the bottom of the third cut the lead to 2-1. UNLV added single runs in the eighth on a Eric Nielsen homer and in the ninth on a Kowalski RBI single.
The Mountain West Conference Tournament will be held next week (May 26-29) in Las Vegas. New Mexico receives a bye in the first round of the tournament and will play the highest seeded remaining in the tournament Thursday at 11 a.m. Live stats of all tournament games will be available at www.TheMWC.com, and live broadcasts of the Lobo games will be available at www.GoLobos.com.
CONFERENCE SEEDS 1. San Diego State 2. New Mexico 3. UNLV 4. BYU 5. Utah 6. Air Force