Feb. 27, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Senior Cameron Smith had two home runs in his first two home at bats and sophomore Gera Sanchez pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in the Lobos 5-2 game one win over Northern Colorado this afternoon at Isotopes Park. The Lobos lost game two of the doubleheader, 6-5, in 10 innings. The Lobos are now 4-2 on the season. Northern Colorado is now 1-2.
"The positive thing is that we pitched well the whole weekend," said UNM head coach Ray Birmingham. "What I've seen that we've done good in six games is pitching. The hitting will come around. We are getting a lot of hits but we are not getting a lot of timely hits. We are a young club. We have to keep plugging."
In game one the Lobos took the lead in the bottom of the second inning off of Smith's first home run of the day. Northern Colorado would answer with two runs in the top of the third. Smith tied it up with his second round-tripper of the day in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score at, 2-2.
New Mexico got two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Senior Daniel Gonzalez led off with a single. Senior Max Willett laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced Gonzalez to second. Senior Justin Howard blasted a tripled to the gap in right center to score Gonzalez and make the score, 3-2. All-America candidate Rafael Neda singled to right-center to score Howard for the final run of the inning and made the score, 4-2.
The Lobos got one more run in the bottom of the eighth. Back-to-back singles by sophomore Ben Woodchick and freshman Alex Allbritton put runners on the corners. Senior Justin Howard hit a sacrifice fly to deep right to drive in Woodchick for the Lobos' final run of the game, 5-2.
Starter Willy Kesler had an outstanding outing and scattered six hits over 6.0 innings and tied a career high with eight strikeouts. Sanchez (1-0) picked up the first win of his Division I career in relief of Kesler.
In game two the Lobos once again found themselves trailing in the late innings. Down 5-1 going into the bottom of the eighth the Lobos got one run to close the gap to 5-2. Once again freshman Mitchell Garver came up with a clutch two-out pinch-hit RBI that plated Howard from second.
The Lobos tied up the ballgame in the bottom of the ninth with three runs. Coach Birmingham put a bat in the hands of every player he had left on the bench to find a way to tie the game. Junior Ryan Honeycutt came in to pinch-hit and was hit by a pitch. Freshman John Michael Twichell, also up to pinch-hit, doubled to left center and moved Honeycutt over the third. Willett drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Howard singled to right to score Honeycutt and Twichell and tie the score at five apiece and send the game into extra innings.
Northern Colorado got one run in the top of the tenth inning and went on top 6-5. The Lobos would load the bases only to ground into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game.
The Lobos will face the Bears in game four of the series on Sunday at 12 p.m. MT. Tomorrow's game will be broadcast live by 101.7 FM (KQTM) The TEAM. Television and radio broadcast legend Connie Alexander will call the action along side Lobo baseball alumnus Mike Foote (1976-80). For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com. For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com.