April 12, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team is back in first place of the Mountain West Conference with an 8-4 record after taking two of three from conference foe BYU this past weekend. The Lobos are 7-2 in their last nine MWC games and are currently receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches top-25 poll. New Mexico is 21-11 on the season.
"I'm proud that we are in first place in the Mountain West right now," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "Last year we were 37-20, that was the most wins since 1985 and we have been nationally ranked for the last two years. It's also the first time in school history that we have been nationally ranked in back-to-back years. The great thing is I still think we are going to play our best baseball in the next few months."
Chasing the Lobos in the MWC standings are TCU (5-3), UNLV (5-4), Utah (5-4), San Diego State (4-5), BYU (4-5) and Air Force (1-7). At the halfway point in MWC play the Lobos lead the league in batting average (.346), hits (401) and doubles (86).
The Lobos have the two best hitters in the league in seniors Justin Howard and Chris Juarez, who share the top spot with a .414 batting average. Howard also ranks first in hits and is tied for first with 14 doubles.
Junior Kenny Toves leads the league with a 2.57 ERA and is 2-0 on the season. Senior Willy Kesler is ranked third in the league with 47 strikeouts. Sophomore Gera Sanchez is tied for first with five saves.