May 25, 2006
LAS VEGAS - Top-seeded TCU sent fifth-seeded New Mexico to the loser's bracket of the Mountain West Conference Tournament with a 18-6 win in game seven at Earl E. Wilson Stadium on UNLV's campus. The loss, the Lobos seventh straight to TCU, moves them to 29-28 overall this season.
Junior Chris Carlson started UNM off with a soft liner to right field, driving in sophomore Jordan Pacheco for a 1-0 lead in the first. The run snapped TCU starter Jake Arrieta's 18-inning scoreless streak.
TCU's Chad Huffman quickly evened the game in the bottom of the inning, singling to right, driving in Steven Trout. Andrew Walker put the Horned Frogs ahead, 4-1, one inning later with a three-run home run over the fence in left.
The Lobos got one run back in the third as junior Daniel Stovall sent a chopper through the left side, bringing home Carlson. Sophomore Jordan Pacheco added another in the fourth with a shallow single to right, bringing home junior Jay Russell. Senior Ryan Barba followed, driving in Pacheco to tie the game at four with a single to left.
Arrieta was really laboring in the fourth and after giving up the tying run to Barba, he hit Carlson and walked Stovall to load the bases. Sophomore Ian Hollick made him pay, shooting a low single right back over his head, plating Barba for a 5-4 lead.
The MWC champions fired back, putting six runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth for a 10-5 lead thanks to a two-run home run to center by Huffman. Austin Adams followed with a solo shot, also to center.
Junior Matt Foote cut the deficit by one in the fifth, scoring on a groundout after leading off the inning with a double to left. However, TCU added two runs in the bottom of the inning, pushing the score to 12-6.
The Horned Frogs pulled away in the seventh, scoring six runs on six hits, including another three-run home run from Walker.
Pacheco led the Lobos, going 2-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored. Barba was also 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored while Carlson was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Walker guided TCU, going 3-for-3 with six RBI and four runs scored while Huffman was 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Arrieta, who shared the MWC Pitcher of the Year award with junior Danny Ray Herrera, improved to 13-4 with the win. He went 7 innings, allowing nine hits, six runs and three walks with six strikeouts. Senior Jesse Perez (2-4) suffered the loss, allowing eight hits, nine runs (eight earned) and two walks in 3.2 innings.
New Mexico, led by right-handed senior Nate Melek, returns to the field tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. PDT, taking on sixth-seeded Utah. The Lobos need a win to stay alive in the tournament. With a win, they will have to battle with No. 5 UNLV, who will be looking for revenge from Tuesday night's 17-2 beating.