Lobos Break From MWC Play For Single Game At Texas Tech
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/10/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 10, 2006

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UP NEXT FOR THE LOBOS: New Mexico, 20-11 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference, takes a break from conference action, traveling to Lubbock, Texas for a single-game matchup with Texas Tech at 3 p.m. CT. Neither team has announced a starter. CSTV's Gametracker is available at UNM's official athletic website, www.GoLobos.com.

NEW MEXICO VS. TEXAS TECH, THE SERIES: The Lobos and the Red Raiders have already met once this year, resulting in an 8-7 loss in 10 innings on Valentine's Day at Isotopes Park. The game was New Mexico's first home game of the 2006 season and was the third consecutive extra-inning game.

Texas Tech holds a 48-30-1 series lead over New Mexico, winning five in a row and eight of the last 11. Of the last 11 however, only three have been played in Albuquerque, with the Lobos winning two (4-1, 3/16/04 and 13-11, 4/15/03). The last time New Mexico won in Lubbock was Feb. 2, 2003, 9-6. For the series, Texas Tech is 32-16-1 in Albuquerque and 34-14 in Lubbock.

SCOUTING THE RED RAIDERS: Texas Tech is 23-13 overall and 15-4 at home. The Red Raiders enter Tuesday's game on a three-game losing streak after being swept at Kansas. They were in the Collegiate Baseball top-30 last week but fell out due to the losses. They are still receiving votes in the ESPN/Coaches Poll.

Hitting .327 as a team, TTU is led offensively by Roger Kieschnick and Matt Smith. Kieschnick, hitting .380, leads the team in at bats (150), runs scored (34), hits (57) and RBI (42). Smith, hitting .359, leads the team in doubles (14) and home runs (7). Both have played and started in all 36 games for Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders hold a 4.38 ERA, with three of their four starters producing ERAs under 4.00. Colt Hynes has the lowest ERA at 2.06 and is 4-0 in 12 starts. Miles Morgan ties with Hynes for the most wins, going 4-4 with a 3.92 ERA. Morgan leads the starting rotation in innings (66.2) and strikeouts (79). Randy Gattis has been the most relied on in the bullpen, making a team-high 15 appearances. Gattis is 3-1 with a 3.63 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.

ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: The Lobos are 20-11 overall, which is the best record in the Mountain West Conference to date. TCU has won 19 games, with a winning percentage of .559 and leads the conference standings at 6-1. New Mexico is 3-3 in the MWC, which is the third best, trailing San Diego State in second with a 4-1 record.

The Lobos are the top fielding team in the conference with a percentage of .973. They have turned 46 double plays, which is 12 more than any other school in the MWC.

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, RBIs, doubles, home runs, total bases, walks, times hit by a pitch and stolen bases. Sophomore Ian Hollick stands out for the Lobos, ranking in the top-10 in batting average (.350, 6th), slugging percentage (.598, 5th), on-base percentage (.446, 6th), runs scored (28, 8th), hits (41, T10th), RBI (28, T5th), doubles (10, T5th), triples (2, T4th), home runs (5, T8th), total bases (70, T6th) and walks (19, T7th).

Junior Danny Ray Herrera has etched his name throughout the pitching categories, holding the best ERA (1.57), opposing batting avg. (.211), most innings pitched (80.1), most games started (10) and fewest runs allowed (16) for pitchers who average at least 1 inning per game. Herrera is also in the top-10 in stikeouts (66, 4th), strikeouts looking (19, 3rd), wins (6, 2nd), fewest earned runs allowed (14, 2nd), fewest walks allowed (18, 8th), fewest doubles allowed (5, 2nd) and fewest triples allowed (1, T4th).

The fielders are just as strong individually, leading the conference in two of the six categories. First basemen Daniel Stovall has turned a league-high 35 double plays and is third in putouts (257), fourth in chances (265) and ninth in fielding percentage (996). Junior center fielder Matt Foote and junior designated hitter/first baseman Chris Carlson hold perfect fielding percentages to tie for the conference lead. Senior shortstop Ryan Barba is second in the conference in assists (109) and has turned the second most double plays (34) while sophomore second baseman Jordan Pacheco has dished out 108 assists and is third in double plays turned (31) and ninth in chances (184).

FIRST TO 20: Sunday's 15-7 win at San Diego State gave New Mexico its 20th win of the season. Needing 31 games to reach 20 wins, the 2006 team ties with the 1993, 1984, 1982 and 1980 teams for the ninth fastest to 20. The 1969 and 1973 teams tie for the quickest, needing just 22 games to win 20. Under coach Rich Alday, the 2003 team was the fastest, needing 30 to win 20. This year's squad is tied for the second fastest to 20 with the 1993 team while coached by Alday.

EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: UNM has played eight extra-inning games this season, going 4-4. The eight games sets a new program record for the most extra inning games. The previous record was seven, set by the 1984 team. The team to come closest to the mark since '84 was the 1991 team led by Alday, which played four extra inning games.

The longest extra inning game of the season was a 12 inning, 3-2 loss to BYU at the Mountain West Conference Preseason Tournament. The 12 inning game ties for the fourth longest in program history. The longest was a 4-3 loss to New Mexico State on Feb. 9, 2002 in 15 innings. The Lobos have also played one 14 inning game (a 9-8 win over Colorado State on March 17, 1973) and a 13 inning game (a 4-4 tie vs. Colorado State in 1964).

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.The Lobos' 46 double plays fielded are more than any other MWC school's production with UNLV's 34 the next closest. Not to mention Stovall, Barba and Pacheco rank 1, 2 and 3 in the conference for most double plays turned with 35, 34 and 31, respectively.

SENSATIONAL STARTERS: The Lobos have relied heavily on their starting rotation for innings and wins. The starters, 14-7 with a 4.66 ERA, have thrown 193.1 innings with 144 strikeouts. The bullpen, 6-4 with a 5.88 ERA, has tossed 90.1 innings with 55 strikeouts.

New Mexico is also stronger at the plate with its starters. The Lobos have used 13 different pinch hitters with six getting at least one hit. Non-starters are hitting .268 compared to the starters' .304 average. In 31 games, the Lobos have pinch-hit in 18 games, but only six of them have come in the last 14 games.

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 0-3 when scoring less than three runs and they are 0-7 when trailing after seven innings and 0-8 after eight innings. The Lobos are 7-8 when an opponent scores first and 4-4 when their opponent scores in the first inning. But, they are 8-4 when they score in the first and 13-3 when they score first.

FAST FOOTE: Junior Matt Foote has been running all season and shows no signs of slowing down. His 16 stolen bases on 20 tries leads the team and the conference. He has scored 35 runs, which is the second most on the team and in the MWC.

HOT HITTING HOLLICK: Sophomore Ian Hollick has been offensively solid all season. He leads the team in triples and holds the team's longest hitting streak at 14 games. 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 17 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 six Lobos to start and play in all 31 games this season. A constant defensive wizard at second, Pacheco has put out 70 batters, the third most on the team, and dished out 108 assists, the second most on the team and in the MWC. When he isn't putting people out, he is putting himself on base. Pacheco is hitting .328, the fifth best average on the team, has scored a team-high 40 runs and is tied for the team-high in hits (41). He has been hit by a pitch 11 times, drawn a team-high 21 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 6-0 in 10 starts, Herrera holds a 1.57 ERA, the best in the MWC. Herrera has thrown three complete games, including one shutout, leading the conference in innings at 80.1. Herrera has allowed 60 hits, but only nine were more than singles. He has fanned 66 and walked just 18. Only 14 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 performed well each time. At the plate, he is hitting .188 (3-for-16) but has one of the team's 11 triples and has three RBI and four runs scored. On the mound, Itokazu has made 11 appearances for 12.2 innings. He is 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA, walked 10 and struck out 12.

ROLE REVERSAL: Freshman Chace Lankford began the season as UNM's closer but made a recent made the switch to starter. 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 last three appearances, one was a start and two were in relief. Overall, Lankford has been successful no matter when he throws, posting a 4.97 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 29.0 innings.

BULLPEN BY COMMITTEE: Head coach Rich Alday has 13 different Lobos in relief so far this season. Junior Damon Miller has made the most appearances (13), going 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 18.2 innings. Miller, with 10 strikeouts, trails freshman Chad Itokazu for the team-high with 12. Itokazu has made 11 appearances, the second most on the team, going 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched.

Three relievers, juniors Jackie Smith and Sean McKee and freshman Tim Sloan, have yet to give up a run. Of the three, Sloan has made the most appearances (2), allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out two.

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: Junior Daniel Stovall is almost into the UNM career record books. Stovall, with 27 home runs, trails fifth place by seven. Jeff Grady is currently in fifth with 34 career homers. Stovall hit nine bombs in 2005 and 12 in 2004. He already has six this season.

Senior Darren Coltrinari and junior Danny Ray Herrera are vying for the same record. Herrera has made 37 career starts while Coltrinari has 32. The fifth most is 40, held by Barry Kiess (1994-97) and James Vermilyea (2001-03). The record is 47.

Both Coltrinari and Herrera are also approaching the top-5 in wins and losses. Herrera, with 17 wins, and Coltrinari, with 11 wins, are chasing Ron Adair (1971-74) and Kurt Hildebrandt (1991-93, `95), who are tied for fifth with 20. Coltrinari and Herrera both have 12 career losses, needing five to place in a four-way tie for second with 17. The record is 21, set by Barry Kiess (1994-97).

LOBOS LAST TIME OUT: The Lobos took two of three at San Diego State, improving to 20-11 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference.

New Mexico opened the series with a 10-4 loss, extending its losing streak to a season-high three games. Junior Daniel Stovall put New Mexico up 2-0 in the first, belting a two-run home run with junior Chris Carlson on and two outs. But senior Nate Melek surrendered two straight singles to lead off the second and Curt Mendoza homered to give SDSU a 3-2 lead. Carlson finished the night 3-for-4 with a run scored while Stovall went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Melek suffered the loss, allowing a season-high 13 hits for 10 runs. He walked two and struck out six in 5.1 innings. Junior Quentin Andes threw 2.2 hitless innings in relief, striking out one.

Junior south paw Danny Ray Herrera threw a five-hit complete game, matching his career high in strikeouts (9), to remain undefeated at 6-0 in the Lobos 8-2 win over San Diego State on Saturday. Sophomore Jordan Pacheco gave the Lobos a 3-0 lead in the second, belting a home run with two on and two out. Two SDSU errors led to five UNM runs in the eighth, allowing the Lobos to cruise to the win. Carlson led New Mexico at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Pacheco drove in a team-high three runs.

The Lobos scored 15 runs on 16 hits Sunday, compiling more runs and hits in the series finale than they did in the first two game combined, to beat San Diego State, 15-7 at Tony Gwynn Stadium. New Mexico recorded 12 runs on 15 hits in games one and two together. Senior Jesse Perez earned his first win of the season, going 5 innings for seven hits, three runs, two walks and three strikeouts. Freshman Chace Lankford threw 2 hitless innings with two walks and a strikeout. Pacheco and sophomore Ian Hollick led New Mexico in hits, going 4-for-6 and 4-for-5, respectively. Hollick, Pacheco and senior Brandon Bingham drove in a team-high three runs each while Pacheco and junior Matt Foote scored a team-high three runs each.

KDEF 1150 AM TO BROADCAST LOBO BASEBALL FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE SEASON: For the third straight season, Albuquerque radio station KDEF will supply exclusive broadcasts of Lobo baseball on 1150 AM and throughout the world at www.GoLobos.com. All of the team's 29 home games will be broadcast live.

Henry Tafoya will call the play-by-play for the Lobos, while Dan Rivera and Mike Foote will provide analysis. It also marks the third straight season for the trio calling Lobo baseball. Prior to each broadcast, there will be a 15 minute pre-game show. A post-game show with interviews will follow at the conclusion of each game.

In addition to the broadcasts, all of New Mexico's home games can be followed live on the internet at www.GoLobos.com with Gametracker. Gametracker takes official statistics from the press box and provides up-to-the-minute information for users, including updated team and individual stats, an updated box score, and play-by-play. Gametracker can be accessed on the right side of UNM's home page in the upcoming events box.