Jan. 8, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team has reloaded the artillery on the mound with firepower and depth to make a run at the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championship. The Lobos return a young group of pitchers with 90 mph arms and have brought in some of the best arms from the southwest.
The Lobo pitching staff has reloaded after the loss of Friday-night ace John Hesketh and closer Cole White. Returning to the bump for the Lobos is sophomore Rudy Jaramillo. Jaramillo went 4-2 on the season with the Lobos' only complete game, an 8-4 win over UNLV on May 1. He also struck out 37 batters and posted an ERA of 5.73. Making a return to the starting rotation will be senior Willy Kesler. Kesler was sidelined for the first four weeks of the 2009 season after recovering from May 2008 Tommy John surgery. Senior Edwin Carl went 2-1 last season and fanned 30 batters. Junior Kenny Toves picked up two wins in relief work and struck out 25 batters while picking up one save. Sophomore Gabe Aguilar had the Lobos' lowest ERA with a 1.98 and went 2-1 on the season with 16 apperances. Senior Jason Oatman posted a record of 4-1 and made 18 appearances in relief.
In the off-season the Lobos loaded up on firepower to compete with the top teams in the country. Junior transfer Mike Lachapelle, who has a 90 mph arm, is one of the top junior college prospects out of Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. Sophomore transfer Gera Sanchez comes to UNM from New Mexico Junior College and was an all-state pitcher for Mayfield High School in Las Cruces, N.M. From Baulkham Hills, Australia and Clarendon Junior College is Richard Olson. Olson brings aggressiveness to the mound. Zach Cleveland is a junior transfer from Central Arizona Junior College with a 95 mph arm and a low 80s slider.
The Lobo coaching staff also picked up some of the best talent in the southwest. High school standouts Bobby Mares from Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas and Austin House from La Cueva High School in Albuquerque will both have an immediate impact on the hill for the Lobos. Mares, who led Socorro High School to its first-ever state championship, has shown the coaches that he is ready for Division I baseball. House won a state championship with La Cueva in 2008. Oscar Almedia comes to UNM from Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque. Almedia was an all-state pitcher for the Ravens as a senior. Zak Miller (Surrey, BC, Canada/Elgin Park Secondary HS), Steven Florez (Mesilla, N.M./Las Cruces HS) and Jacob Nelson (Lakewood, Colo./Wheatridge HS) also come to New Mexico with high expectations.
The Lobos open up the season in Austin, Texas against last year's College World Series runner-up, Texas on Feb. 19-21. For more information visit www.GoLobos.com.