March 26, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Junior Ryan Honeycutt hit a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning and tied a career-high with five RBIs to lead the Lobos to a 12-7 win over the San Diego State Aztecs tonight at Isotopes Park. Junior Richard Olson scattered eight hits seven innings and had a career-high eight strikeouts on the night. The Lobos improve to 15-9 on the season and 2-2 in Mountain West Conference play. The Aztecs fall to 9-12 and 0-1.
"Richard Olson did a great job on the mound tonight," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "I was really proud of him tonight. He's a bulldog and he did a good job. This series is huge for us. We just have to keep doing what we are doing and be aggressive."
The Lobos had a six-run third inning that was sparked by Honeycut's grand slam. The Lobos got back-to-back singles from senior Adam Courcha and senior Justin Howard. After junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda was issued a walk, Honeycutt stepped up to the plate and took the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for his third home run of the season that made the score 4-0.
The Lobos added two more runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman Alex Allbritton's sacrifice fly scored senior Chris Juarez and Courcha drilled a double to right-centerfield that scored senior Cameron Smith to make the score 6-0.
New Mexico added one run in the bottom of the fourth, sixth and seventh innings and three more in the bottom of the eighth.
Olson (2-2) continued his dominance on the mound giving up only two runs on eight hits. San Diego State had the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the second when Olson fanned Matt Nadolski to retire the side. In the top of the fourth, Olson found himself in another bases-loaded situation and got Brandon Meredith to ground out to the first baseman for the third out of the inning. The Aztecs stranded eight batters in seven innings against Olson. He now has 20 strikeouts in his last 20.2 innings pitched.
Honeycutt led the Lobos at the plate going 2-for-4 with five RBIs and was one of eight Lobos to record a multiple-hit game. Courcha and Neda each went 3-for-5 from the plate. Neda knocked in two RBIs and Courcha had one. Senior Justin Howard extended his hitting streak to 25 games and went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Howard's streak is currently the second-longest active streak in the country. Smith, senior Max Willett and Allbritton went 2-for4 from the plate, respectively. Smith and Allbritton each had an RBI. Juarez went 2-for-6 on the day.
The Lobos and Aztecs play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live on 101.7 FM (KQTM) The TEAM. Scott Galetti will call the action alongside former Lobo baseball player Pete Henderson (1991). For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com.