Lobos Look To Contain Rebels In Three-Game Series This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  05/11/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

May 11, 2006

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UP NEXT FOR THE LOBOS: New Mexico, 28-21 overall and 10-6 in the Mountain West Conference, plays its final road MWC series with three games at UNLV (21-28, 6-10 MWC). The series begins on Friday at 6:30 p.m. PT followed by two day games, one Saturday at 2 p.m. and one Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.

Senior righty Jesse Perez (2-2, 8.00 ERA) moves up from his normal Sunday start, throwing the opening game vs. lefty Kevin Skogley (2-6, 5.89 ERA). Junior southpaw Danny Ray Herrera (9-0, 2.26 ERA) is slated to throw on Saturday vs. lefty Efren Navarro (1-1, 7.07 ERA) and senior righty Nate Melek (5-6, 7.25 ERA) will go Sunday against an opponent to be decided.

Gametracker is available for all three games on the Lobos' official website, www.GoLobos.com.

NEW MEXICO VS. UNLV, THE SERIES: The Rebels dominated the Lobos last season, claiming five of the six games. Overall, UNLV leads the series 63-40, holding a commanding 48-21 record in Las Vegas. New Mexico has won a majority of the games in Albuquerque, taking 19 of 34. Here is a breakdown of the series:
Series Record: 40-63
Series Record in Albuquerque: 19-15
Series Record in Las Vegas: 21-48
Series Record at Neutral Site: 0-0
Last series win: 5/20-22, 2004
Last series loss: 4/22-24, 2005
Last home series win: 5/20-22, 2004
Last home series loss: 3/24-26, 2005
Last road series win: 4/23-25, 2004
Last road series loss: 4/22-24, 2005
Last UNM series sweep: 4/28-30, 2000
Last time swept: 4/4-6, 2003
Last 10 games: 1-9
Alday vs. UNLV: 30-42
Longest UNM win streak: 10 (1999-2001)
Longest UNM losing streak: 8 (twice)
Last UNM win: 3/24/05 (10-8)
Last UNM loss: 4/24/05 (16-15)
Last UNM home win: 3/24/05 (10-8)
Last UNM home loss: 3/26/05 (14-9)
Last UNM road win: 4/25/04 (12-4)
Last UNM road loss: 4/24/05 (16-15)
Last UNM shutout win: Never
Last UNM shutout loss: 2/4/95 (6-0)
Highest scoring game: 36 (L, 4/27/02, 23-13)
Largest margin of victory: 10 (twice)
Largest margin of defeat: 21 (3/30/02)
Most runs by UNM: 17 (W, 5/9/99, 17-14)
Most runs by UNLV: 23 (L, 4/27/02, 23-13)
UNM in one-run games: 5-16
2005 Results
3/24/05 Albuquerque, N.M. -- W, 10-8
3/25/05 Albuquerque, N.M. -- L, 12-6
3/26/05 Albuquerque, N.M. -- L, 14-9
4/22/05 Las Vegas, Nev. -- L, 11-8
4/23/05 Las Vegas, Nev. -- L, 20-11
4/24/05 Las Vegas, Nev. -- L, 16-15

SCOUTING THE REBELS: UNLV, which had last weekend off from conference action, took two of three from Arizona. The Rebels, 21-28 overall and 6-10 in the Mountain West Conference, are 14-9 at home. As a team, UNLV is hitting .292 with a 6.04 ERA and a .960 fielding percentage.

The Rebels are led at the plate by CJ Lang, Keith Smith, Chris Bonnell and Chad Miller. Lang has a team-high .342 batting average, 49 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. Smith, hitting .330, leads UNLV in triples (4) and RBI (46) while Bonnell, hitting .313, leads the team in hits (60) and doubles (16). Miller, hitting .309, tops the Rebels in home runs with 11.

Chris Saddoris (5-7, 6.22 ERA) has made the most starts for UNLV (13), throwing a team-high 72.1 innings. Jabe Beard (2-1, 3.77) and Koji Pupo (1-1, 5.91) are tied for the most appearances (21) with Beard leading the team in strikeouts (45) and saves (4) and holds the lowest ERA.

IN THE NATION: Once again, the Lobos are one of the best teams in the nation statistically. Through May 7, New Mexico leads the nation in double plays, turning 63 total for a 1.31 per game average. The Lobos are tenth in runs per game, averaging 8.7. UNM is also ranked in slugging percentage (.501, 13th), home runs per game (1.21, 15th), doubles per game (2.27, 16th), fielding percentage (.971, 26th) and batting average (.319, 29th).

Individually, the Lobos are thriving as well. Junior first baseman/designated hitter Chris Carlson is ranked in the most categories for New Mexico. Carlson is fifth in home runs (0.40 pg), 12th in RBI (1.35 pg) and 34th in slugging percentage (.699). Junior first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Stovall makes the list in two spots, 13th in doubles (0.44 pg) and 17th in RBI (1.31 pg). Sophomore second baseman Jordan Pacheco also appears twice, fourth in the nation in runs per game (1.38) and 35th in doubles (0.4). Junior Danny Ray Herrera places in the top-50 twice, 11th in victories (9) and 48th in ERA (2.26). Junior center fielder Matt Foote is tied 26th in times hit by a pitch (0.35 pg) and junior left fielder Jay Russell is tied 28th in sacrifice hits (0.26 pg).

ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: The Lobos are 28-21 overall, which tied TCU for the best record in the Mountain West Conference to date. TCU leads the conference standings at 14-5. New Mexico is 10-6 in the MWC, which is the third best, trailing the Horned Frogs by 2.5 games and San Diego State (20-31, 13-6 MWC) by 1.5.

UNM is the top fielding team in the conference with a percentage of .971. They Lobos lead the conference in assists (602) and double plays. They have turned 64 double plays, which is 16 more than any other school in the MWC. The Lobos also lead the conference in batting average (.318), slugging percentage (.498), on base percentage (.401), runs (421), hits (567), RBI (396), doubles (112), home runs (58), total bases (887) and times hit by pitch (61).

Individually, the Lobos are dominating all the categories. New Mexico has at least two ranked in the top-10 in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBIs, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases, walks, sac bunts and sac flies, total plate appearances, at bats, steal attempts, strikeouts and times hit by a pitch. Junior Chris Carlson places the most offensively for the Lobos, ranking in batting average (.342, 9th), slugging percentage (.699, 3rd), on base percentage (.429, 8th), runs scored (48, 5th), hits (67, T6th), RBI (65, 1st), home runs (19, 1st), total bases (137, 1st), hit by pitch (9, 8th), sacrifice flies (8, 1st), total plate appearances (240, T3rd), at bats (196, 7th), strikeouts (40, T5th) and times grounded into double plays (8, 1st).

Junior Danny Ray Herrera has etched his name throughout the pitching categories, holding the lowest ERA (2.26), most innings pitched (111.1) and most games started (14) for pitchers who average at least 1 inning per game. Herrera is also in the top-10 in opposing batting average (.232, 2nd), stikeouts (87, 5th), strikeouts looking (19, T7th), wins (9, 2nd), fewest earned runs allowed (28, 5th), fewest runs allowed (32, 3rd), fewest doubles allowed (10, 4th), fewest triples allowed 3, T9th) and fewest walks allowed (25, 8th).

The fielders are just as strong individually, leading the conference in two of the six categories. Junior first basemen Daniel Stovall has turned a league-high 46 double plays. Stovall is second in putouts (385), fourth in chances (401) and seventh in fielding percentage (.995). Junior center fielder Matt Foote holds a perfect fielding percentage to tie for the conference lead. Senior shortstop Ryan Barba is second in the conference in assists (165) and third in fielding double plays (43) while sophomore second baseman Jordan Pacheco is second in fielding double plays (44) and third in assists (165). Sophomore catcher Drew McDonald is 10th in putouts (191).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH: Junior www.GoLobos.com.

HOLLICK, CARLSON NAMED TO ESPN THE MAGAZINE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT 6 TEAM: Junior designated hitter Chris Carlson and sophomore third baseman Ian Hollick were named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 6 first team today. The honor is the second of Carlson's career and the first for Hollick.

IF I WAS A GAMBLING MAN: If I was a gambler, here is who I would be betting on:

When the Lobos are facing a left handed pitcher, freshman Zach Arnett has had the most success, going 4-for-6 with two RBI. Junior Chris Carlson has driven in the most runs vs. lefties, with 16, including a team-high six home runs for a .429 batting average. Sophomore Jordan Pacheco has the most hits off of southpaws, going 17-for-40, hitting .425.

Against righties, sophomore Ian Hollick has the best average, hitting .384. Junior Daniel Stovall has a team high 57 hits and 47 RBI with a .326 average.

Pacheco leads off an inning in every game as New Mexico's first hitter. He has a .355 average when leading off an inning on a team-high 27 hits. However, Stovall has the best average as a leadoff hitter, going 13-for-35 (.371).

When it comes to runners on base, I would want junior Jay Russell, Carlson or Stovall at the plate. Russell has the best average (.446) while Stovall has a team-high 43 hits, 58 RBI and 17 doubles. Carlson has homered 11 times with runners on. With two outs and runners on base, freshman Dane Hamilton holds a .529 batting average, Hollick and Stovall lead the team in hits (18) and Stovall tops the team in RBI (27). With the bases loaded bet heavily on Hamilton or Stovall, who are hitting .667 (2-for-3 with four RBI) and .636 (7-for-11 iwth 16 RBI), respectively.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: With senior Ryan Barba at shortstop, sophomore Jordan Pacheco at second base and junior Daniel Stovall at first, New Mexico opponents have run into trouble against arguably the best infield in the MWC and quite possibly the nation.The Lobos' 64 double plays fielded are more than any other MWC school's production with UNLV's 48 the next closest. Not to mention Stovall leads the conference in most double plays turned with 46. Pacheco and Barba are right on his heels, with 44 and 43, respectively.

SENSATIONAL STARTERS: The Lobos have relied heavily on their starting rotation for innings and wins. The starters, 21-13 with a 5.27 ERA, have thrown 295.2 innings with 202 strikeouts. The bullpen, 7-8 with a 8.31 ERA, has tossed 144.0 innings with 79 strikeouts.

KEYS TO SUCCESS: In order for New Mexico to win, they need to score early and score often, at least according to the statistics. The Lobos are 0-6 when scoring less than three runs and they are 0-16 when trailing after seven innings and 0-17 after eight innings. On the flip side, they are 13-1 when scoring 10 or more runs and 25-3 when leading after seven innings and 23-1 when leading after eight innings.

The Lobos are 11-15 when an opponent scores first and 7-10 when their opponent scores in the first inning. But, they are 11-5 when they score in the first and 17-6 when they score first. The Lobos are also 20-2 when they out-hit their opponents but 6-18 when they are outhit.

FAST FOOTE: Junior Matt Foote has been running all season and shows no signs of slowing down. His 23 stolen bases on 27 tries leads the team and is second in the conference. He has scored 51 runs, which is the second most on the team and third in the MWC.

HOT HITTING HOLLICK: Sophomore Ian Hollick has been offensively solid all season, leading the team in batting average (.376). He hit safely in 14 straight games this season, setting a new personal best. His career-high hit streak started in Arizona on Feb. 18 and didn't end until March 18 vs. San Francisco. During his streak, he accomplished a rare feat vs. 12th-ranked Oregon State, hitting a solo home run off of Dallas Buck, which was just the third off of Buck and the fourth against the team all season. At the MWC Preseason Tournament, he led the team in hitting with a .385 average while the team hit just .189. Hollick scored four of the team's nine runs, hit both of UNM's home runs, had two of the team's nine RBI and five of its 21 hits.

DOUBLIN' DAN: Junior Daniel Stovall has been a double-hitting machine this season, cranking out 22 to lead the Mountain West Conference. Stovall hit two in four different games this season, including each of the games in the series vs. Northern Colorado.

PUTTING PACHECO IN PLAY: Sophomore Jordan Pacheco is one of five Lobos to start and play in all 49 games this season. A constant defensive wizard at second, Pacheco has put out 109 batters, the fourth most on the team, and dished out 161 assists, the second most on the team and fourth in the MWC. When he isn't putting people out, he is putting himself on base. Pacheco is hitting .343, the second best average on the team, has scored a team-high 66 runs and leads the team in hits (72). He has been hit by a pitch 11 times, drawn 30 walks and has stolen nine bases, the second most of any Lobo.

D-RAY DELIVERS: Junior Danny Ray Herrera has done nothing but deliver win after win for New Mexico. A perfect 9-0 in 14 starts, Herrera holds a 2.26 ERA, the best in the MWC. Herrera has thrown three complete games, including one shutout, leading the conference in innings at 111.1. Herrera has allowed 94 hits, but only 17 were more than singles. He has fanned 87 and walked just 25. Only 28 earned runs have scored with Herrera on the mound.

PUT ME IN COACH, I'M READY TO PLAY: Freshman Chad Itokazu has been ready to play anywhere head coach Rich Alday wants to put him. He's started four games in right field, pinch hit and thrown in relief and against Air Force, saw time at third, second and shortstop, performing well each time. At the plate, he is hitting .200 (4-for-20), has one of the team's 14 triples and has three RBI and six runs scored. On the mound, Itokazu has made 17 appearances for 21.1 innings. He is 2-3 with a 7.17 ERA, walked 19 and struck out 15.

ROLE REVERSAL: Freshman Chace Lankford began the season as UNM's closer but made a switch to the starting rotation. In his first three appearances, Lankford came in to close a game, compiling a 1-1 record with a save. His following three appearances as the Sunday starter resulted in a 3-0 record. Of his following three appearances, one was a start and two were in relief. Overall, Lankford has made 14 appearance including five starts. He has been successful no matter when he throws, posting a 5.26 ERA with a 5-3 record and 28 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.

PITCHING TO EXTREMES: Senior Jesse Garcia-Perez has gone from one extreme to another. He started the season coming out of the bullpen. Doing so, Perez posted a 14.00 ERA, striking out five with seven walks, 14 earned runs and 20 hits in 9 innings. But since moving from the bullpen to a starting role, Perez has gone 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA. He has struck out 16, walked 15, allowed 41 hits and 18 earned runs in 27.0 innings.

BULLPEN BY COMMITTEE: Head coach Rich Alday has 13 different Lobos in relief so far this season. Junior Damon Miller and freshman Chad Itokazu have made the most appearances (17), both getting two wins. Miller has two losses with a 5.76 ERA in 25.0 innings with 14 strikeouts while Itokazu has a 7.17 ERA in 21.1 innings with 15 strikeouts. Miller has also made a start, posting 4.26 ERA in 6.1 innings.

Miller, Itokazu, junior Quentin Andes and freshman Chace Lankford all have wins out of the bullpen while Miller (3), Lankford (1) and freshman Jordan Salazar (1) all have at least one save.

REACHING FOR THE RECORDBOOKS: Juniors Chris Carlson and Daniel Stovall are trying to set as many records as they can before their season is up and they possibly move on to the next level. Carlson has already made the book for home runs in a season and career. He is tied fifth for both with 19 this season and 34 in his career. If the season ended today, Carlson would set a new career record for slugging percentage with .733. Stovall is just shy of the books in four categories, needing three home runs, three doubles and 26 RBIs to tie fifth in the career book and six doubles to tie fifth in the season book. Junior Matt Foote, hit 17 times this season, is tied second in the season book, needing three more for a new record.

Junior Danny Ray Herrera is also making his mark on the books. His nine wins this season ties him for fourth in the season book. His 41 games started, 21 wins and 277.0 innnings pitched leave him fifth in each category in the career book. One more inning of work and he will take over fifth in the season book and 11 more strikeouts will place him fifth in the career book.