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Lobo Baseball Hosts Northern Colorado For Four-Game Home Stand
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/24/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 24, 2010

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team hosts Northern Colorado in the 2010 home opener Friday-Sunday, Feb. 26-28 at Isotopes Park. The Lobos are currently 2-1 on the season after taking two of three from then-ranked No. 1 Texas at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

The Lobos have partnered with the City of Albuquerque organization Read to Me to collect books for Albuquerque children. Lobo baseball fans who bring a new or gently used children's book to Friday's game at 3 p.m. MT get free admission.

New Mexico hits the road for a six-game road trip, starting on March 2-3 at in-state rivals New Mexico State and finishes in sunny southern California on March 5-7 at USC.

SCOUTING NORTHERN COLORADO

Northern Colorado will play its first games of the season against the Lobos this Weekend. Last season the Bears went 18-35 and were 7-28 on the road. The Bears are coached by Kevin Smallcomb, who is in his ninth year at UNC. Smallcomb has an overall record of 161-211 at UNC. The Bears return 18 letterwinners, eight position players with starting experience and six starting pitchers from last year's squad.

Northern Colorado will likely start senior left-handed pitcher James Quisenberry on Friday. Quisenberry went 2-2 on last season and posted a 10.40 ERA. The duo of senior right-handed pitcher Joe Sawicki and sophomore left-handed pitcher Joe Willman will be on the mound for saturday's double header. Sawicki went 0-1 last season in four appearances last season, while striking out 13. Willman went 3-5 and led the Bears with a 6.79 ERA as a freshman last season. Sunday's starter will be freshman left-hander Mark Shannon. Shannon is from Littleton, Colo. and played at Chatfield High.

SERIES HISTORY

New Mexico holds a 24-9 series advantage over Northern Colorado. The Lobos have won 14 straight since 1968. The Lobos won all four games last season in Albuquerque and out scored the Bears, 56-17.

LOBOS SWEEP MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS

University of New Mexico senior center fielder Max Willett has been named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week and junior transfer Mike Lachapelle has been named the MWC Pitcher of the Week as announced by the conference office on Feb. 23. Willett had a sensational series last weekend as the Lobos took two of three games from the top-ranked team in the nation, Texas. Willett was 7-for-11 against the top pitching staff in the nation on their home field and hit .636 with two doubles and one triple. Lachapelle scattered seven hits over six innings and allowed one run against the nation's top lineup. This is the second career award for Willett and the first for Lachapelle.

Willett, a senior from Highlands Ranch, Colo., went 2-for-4 with a double on Friday. Willett went 3-for-4 with a triple and one run on Saturday. His sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning drove in the winning run in a 6-5 decision for the Lobos. On Sunday, Willett was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs. Willett scored the go ahead run in the top of the fifth inning.

Lachapelle pitched five scoreless innings against a Texas lineup that features five batters from last season's College World Series runner-up team. The transfer from Pima Community College pitched six innings giving up one hit and one earned run, while striking out one Longhorn batter.

LOBOS GAINING NATIONAL ATTENTION AFTER WEEKEND SERIES WIN OVER TEXAS

The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team is gaining national attention on the heels of a weekend series win over then ranked No. 1 Texas. The Lobos are ranked 19th in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, 26th in Ping!baseball's Top-30 poll and are receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top-30 poll. The Lobos took two of three games from then-ranked No. 1 Texas at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin.

This is the earliest a Lobo baseball team has been ranked and only the third season in school history. Last season the Lobos were ranked No. 21 on March 23 by Baseball America and moved as high as 18th. The Lobos first broke the top-25 and were ranked as high as No. 14 in 1985 by Baseball America.

LOBO BASEBALL SELECTED AS COLLEGE BASEBALL INSIDER TEAM OF THE WEEK

The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team has been selected at College Baseball Insider Team of the Week. The Lobos went into UFCU Disch-Falk Field and took two of three from then-ranked No. 1 Texas. On Saturday, Feb. 20, down two runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Lobos came back to win, 6-5. Senior Justin Howard hit a solo home run and senior Max Willett hit a sacrifice fly to drive home the winning run.

WILLETT AND HOWARD SELECTED TO COLLEGE BASEBALL 360 HONOR ROLL

Seniors Max Willett and Justin Howard have been selected to the inaugural Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll presented by College Baseball 360. Willett was named Co-Primetime Player of the Week, his second weekly honor over the past two days. Willett went 7-for-11 over the weekend hitting .636 with two doubles and a triple. His sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning scored the winning run in the 6-5 victory on Saturday. Howard was equally amazing going 5-for-11, hitting .455 with a double and a game-tying home run on Saturday in the top of the ninth.

TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST STATISTICS

The Lobos lead the Mountain West Conference after the first week of competition in ERA (1.73), earned runs allowed (5), least errors (2) and fielding percentage (.982), second in doubles (7) and walks allowed (10), third in opposing batting average (.293) and fourth in batting average (.284).

Individually senior Max Willett leads the MWC in slugging percentage (1.000) and is second in the conference with a .636 batting average, doubles (2) and hits with seven. Senior Justin Howard is sixth with a .455 average and freshman Alex Allbritton is ranked 10th with a .417 average. Junior transfer Kenny Held ranks seventh in the conference with four RBIs. Senior Edwin Carl and junior Kenny Toves lead the MWC in ERA with a 0.00. Junior transfer Mike Lachapelle is fourth with a 1.50 ERA.

YOUNG GUNS

The youth of the Lobos introduced itself in a very big way this weekend in Austin. Freshmen Alex Allbritton, Austin House, John Michael Twichell, Mitchell Garver and Devon Conley all saw time this weekend against then-ranked No. 1 Texas. Allbritton was spectacular from the plate going 5-for-12 for a .417 average. House shut down the last six batters he faced in route to his first collegiate win in his first collegiate appearance on Saturday. Twichell went 1-for-2 with a double and made a pair of highlight reel catches in left field to prevent Texas from scoring. Garver caught the final three outs and was called on to pinch hit in Saturday's win. Conley came on to pinch run in the top of the ninth and scored the winning run on Saturday.

NEW MEXICO BOYS GETTING THE JOB DONE

New Mexico natives Gera Sanchez (Las Cruces, N.M), Austin House (Albuquerque, N.M.), Edwin Carl (Carlsbad, N.M.), Ryan Honeycutt (Las Cruces, N.M.) and Devon Conley (Rio Rancho, N.M.) all had a hand in taking two of three from the top-ranked team in the nation this weekend. Sanchez came on in the bottom of the ninth, in Sunday's 3-1 win, to shut down the last two batters of the ball game and earn the first save of his Division I career. House came on in the bottom of the eighth inning on Saturday and retired six-straight batters to earn the first win of his collegiate career. Carl had a sensational weekend, pitching 6.0 scoreless innings, giving up five hits and striking out five batters, including four of the of the nine batters he faced on Sunday.

LOBO BASEBALL ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH 101.7 THE TEAM

The University of New Mexico baseball team and Lobo Sports Properties are proud to announce 101.7 The TEAM (KQTM FM) as its radio partner for the 2010 season. For the first time in program history, Lobo baseball will be featured on FM radio. The TEAM will carry 26 games from Isotopes Park and on the road.

Calling the action for Lobo home games will be Lobo football and men's basketball play-by-play announcer Scott Galetti. Galetti has covered Lobo athletics for the last two years and previously called baseball for Long Beach State University and the High Desert Mavericks, the single-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Of the 26 games to be broadcast on 101.7 The TEAM, 16 will be from the friendly confines of Isotopes Park. The broadcasts will feature key home series with in-state rival New Mexico State (March 9-10), Louisiana Tech (March 14), Utah (March 19-21), San Diego State (March 26-28), BYU (April 8-10), San Francisco (April 20) and TCU (May 7-9).

Fans also will be able to follow the Lobos on the road. Series with San Diego State (April 30-May 2), Utah (May 20-22) and the Mountain West Tournament from San Diego, Calif. (May 25-29) also will be available.

LOBOS PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference Preseason Poll as announced by the conference. TCU was picked to finish first and received all 10 first-place votes. San Diego State and Utah, 2009 NCAA Regional qualifiers, were picked third and fourth, respectively. BYU was picked to finish fifth, UNLV sixth and Air Force seventh.

In each of the last two seasons New Mexico has finished above its predicted finish in the preseason poll. New Mexico was picked fifth in the 2009 preseason poll and finished second for the second straight year. In 2008 the Lobos were picked to finish fourth in the conference and ended the season in second place.

THREE LOBOS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

Senior Max Willett, junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda and junior Ryan Honeycutt were selected to the All-MWC Preseason Team. The Lobos and San Diego State landed the most players on the All-MWC team with three each.

THE SCHEDULE

Head coach Ray Birmingham and his staff have put together one of the toughest schedules in school history for the 2010 season. The Lobos play three teams ranked in Baseball American's preseason Top-25, two College World Series participants and five NCAA Regional participants. New Mexico took on preseason No. 1 Texas on Feb. 19-21 and will play preseason No. 17 Arkansas on April 13-14 and preseason No.11 and favorite to win the MWC regular season championship TCU on May 7-9.

NEDA NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN

Junior catcher Rafael Neda has been named to the Louisville Slugger, Ping!baseball and Pro-Line Athletic Preseason All-American teams. Neda hit .415 last season with seven home runs and 49 RBIs. For the second straight season, Neda was named to the 2009 All-MWC team. Born in Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, Neda will be the anchor of the defense and a true leader on the team.

THREE LOBOS NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS

Seniors Max Willett and Adam Courcha and junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda were selected by their teammates as captains for the 2010 season. Willett is serving his second term as captain and along with Neda are the lone two returning All-MWC performers. Courcha is the definition of a utility player. Over his three-year career he has played viturally every position and will play third base this season.
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