Stevens: Silver Slammers clinch Fall Classic series with 7-1 win
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/30/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 30, 2008

Box Score

Lobo Baseball
Cherry & Silver Fall Baseball Classic
Thursday: Silver Slammers 7, Big Red Machine 1 (Slammers win best-of-five series 3-1)
Friday: Game 5, 1 p.m., Isotopes Park

By Richard Stevens, Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

The really tough decision for Lobo Cameron Monger wasn't what to do with the inside changeup he wait, wait, waited on and drove into left field producing two runs for Tidwell's Silver Slammers in their Game Four clincher Thursday afternoon at Isotopes Park.

The tough decision is picking out which member of Jacome's Big Red Machine gets the privilege of waiting on Monger this coming Tuesday when the Lobo outfielder orders his dinner at Coaches Bar & Grill.

"I don't think I'll have any volunteers, so I'll have to pick one," said Monger after the Silver Slammers 7-1 victory that clinched the series for them with a 3-1 edge going into Friday's final game. "I'll have to think about that one. We'll be calling them our waitresses and maybe a few more things harsher than that."

"This meant something to all of us," said Monger. "This wasn't just another day. We're out here to compete and we're all out here to win. Any guy can appreciate good, intense baseball."

Said Lobos coach Ray Birmingham: "Tempers got a little flustered today and that's good. You could tell a few guys were mad at each other."

The Slammers won Game One 6-3, lost Game Two 10-4 and won Game Three 5-3. The Slammers got the winning run Thursday on a two-run double by Cameron Smith. Thursday was a good day for Lobos named Cameron.

"The fun part was really just the competitiveness," said Smith, a UNM junior outfielder."

The Red Machine took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Mike Brownstein singled in Adam Courcha, who had reached base on a single.

The Slammers blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning erupting for six runs on five hits and one error. Monger and Smith each had two RBI doubles. Freshman Ben Woodchick singled in Monger. The Slammers got their seventh run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a monster home run over the left field wall by senior Anthony Martinez.

The Slammers ended the game with eight hits and the Big Red Machine had six hits. Sophomore Ryan Honeycutt got the mound win for the Slammers and senior Will Kerr was tagged with the loss.

"I think the teams were pretty even, but I think the Silver team brought a little more intensity to the ball field every day and I think that helped us," said Monger. "We felt like we could go out and win every inning."

Monger said his double was the result of some patience at the plate; something he hadn't been showing in the previous games.

"The last couple of days I had been getting out in front of the ball and hitting some pop flys, so I was trying wait and stay back," he said. "I got an inside changeup and I didn't try to do too much with it. I managed to shoot it down the line. It worked out all right for me."

The Slammers' win on Thursday takes some of the heat off Friday's finale, but there is still something on the line for at least five players. Birmingham says NCAA rules require him to cut his roster of 40 down to 35.

"I can say that's always been the hardest part of the job," said Birmingham.

Editor's note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at rstevens50@comcast.net. Previous articles are available at The Richard Stevens Corner