Lobos Visit BYU For Three-Game Series
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  05/03/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

May 3, 2006

UP NEXT FOR THE LOBOS: New Mexico, 27-18 overall and 9-4 in the Mountain West Conference, returns to conference play after a five-game hiatus, which resulted in five straight losses for the Lobos. The Lobos head to Provo, Utah for a three-game series with BYU beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. The teams also play Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.

Taking the mound on Thursday night are a pair of right-handers in UNM senior Nate Melek (5-5, 7.00 ERA) and Jordan Muir (5-0, 2.25 ERA). Friday night, right-handed senior Jesse Perez (2-1, 8.42 ERA) is slated to throw against righty Jesse Craig (4-6, 4.38 ERA). The series will conclude Saturday with junior lefty Danny Ray Herrera (8-0, 2.26 ERA) vs. south paw Patrick Wells (5-4, 4.82 ERA).

All three games will have free live stats on BYU's official athletic website: www.BYUCougars.com. Live video and live audio are also available from the Cougars site. Audio is free on Saturday. Video for all three games is $9.95.

NEW MEXICO VS. BYU, THE SERIES: The Lobos and the Cougars started the season series in San Diego at the MWC Preseason Tournament. BYU won the game 3-2 in 12 innings, New Mexico's longest extra-inning game of the season. Sophomore third baseman Ian Hollick homered in the top of the 12th for a 2-1 lead but BYU rallied, tying the game on a two-out double to center and then won the game on a RBI single from Marcos Villezcas. Junior Damon Miller suffered the loss, falling to 2-2, giving up five hits, two runs and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Junior Danny Ray Herrera threw 9 innings, allowing eight hits, one unearned run and one walk with seven strikeouts. Below are some series notes:
Series Record: 43-66-1
Series Record in Albuquerque: 28-28
Series Record in Provo: 12-32
Series Record at Neutral Site: 3-6
Last Series Win: 5/5-7, 2005
Last Series Loss: 3/18-19, 2005
Last Home Series Win: 4/1-3, 2004
Last Home Series Loss: 3/18-19, 2005
Last Road Series Win: 5/5-7, 2005
Last Road Series Loss: 5/6-8, 2004
Last UNM Series Sweep: 4/1-3, 2004
Last Utah Series Sweep: 4/13-14, 2001
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Coach Alday vs. BYU: 35-47
Longest UNM Win Streak: 4, three times
Longest UNM Losing Streak: 13, 1987-90
Last UNM Win: 5/7/05 (14-7)
Last UNM Loss: 5/5/05 (11-8)
Last UNM Home Win: 3/18/05 (6-5)
Last UNM Home Loss: 3/19/05 (4-3)
Last UNM Road Win: 5/7/05 (14-7)
Last UNM Road Loss: 5/5/05 (11-8)
Last UNM Shutout Win: 4/2/04 (1-0)
Last UNM Shutout Loss: 3/1/01 (21-0)
Highest Scoring Game: 34 (L, 24-11, 3/4/95)
Largest Margin of Victory: 12 (3/1/96, 14-2)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 21 (3/1/01, 21-0)
UNM In 1-Run Games: 15-16
Most Runs By UNM: 19 (W, 19-14, 3/13/04)
Most Runs By BYU: 22, twice
UNM In Conf. Tournament: 1-4

SCOUTING THE COUGARS: BYU, 22-23 overall and 7-6 in the MWC, had its six-game win streak snapped Tuesday night by Utah Valley State. The Cougars, hitting .279 overall with a 5.27 ERA and .964 fielding percentage, are currently fourth in the MWC race, trailing TCU, UNM and San Diego State, respectively.

Ben Saylor is the Cougars' leading hitter, holding a .341 average with a team-high 41 runs, 56 hits, 15 home runs and 46 RBI. Jeff Hiestand, hitting .291, has churned out a team-high 11 doubles and 28 walks. Stetson Banks, hitting .270, has stolen a team-high 15 bases on 16 attempts.

Jordan Muir is BYU's ace on the mound, going 5-0 with a team-low 2.25 ERA. In 14 appearances with two starts, Muir has struck out 34 in 44 innings. Jesse Craig, 4-6 with a 4.38 ERA, has made a team-high 12 starts. Craig leads the team in innings pitched (76) and srikeout (63).

IN THE NATION: Once again, the Lobos are one of the best teams in the nation statistically. Through April 30, New Mexico leads the nation in double plays, turning 59 total for a 1.31 per game average. The Lobos are eighth in the nation in in slugging percentage (.509) and tenth runs per game, averaging 8.8. UNM is also ranked in home runs per game (1.27, 12th), fielding percentage (.972, 18th), batting average (.323, 19th) and doubles per game (2.22, T23rd).

Individually, the Lobos are thriving as well. Junior first baseman/designated hitter Chris Carlson is ranked in the most categories for New Mexico. Carlson is fifth in home runs (0.40 pg), ninth in RBI (1.40 pg) and 26th in slugging percentage (.725). Junior first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Stovall makes the list in two spots, tied tenth in doubles (0.44 pg) and 19th in RBI (1.29 pg). Sophomore second baseman Jordan Pacheco is fifth in the nation in runs per game (1.38), junior center fielder Matt Foote is 15th in times hit by a pitch (0.38 pg), junior left fielder Jay Russell is tied 15th in sacrifice hits (0.28 pg) and junior lefty Danny Ray Herrera is tied 24th in victories (8).

ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: The Lobos are 27-18 overall, which is the best record in the Mountain West Conference to date. TCU is 26-18 and leads the conference standings at 12-4. New Mexico is 9-4 in the MWC, which is the second best, trailing the Horned Frogs by 1.5 games.

UNM is the top fielding team in the conference with a percentage of .972. They Lobos lead the conference in chances (1,822) and assists (554). They have turned 59 double plays, which is 15 more than any other school in the MWC. The Lobos also lead the conference in batting average (.323), slugging percentage (.509), on base percentage (.407), runs (394), hits (527), RBI (370), doubles (100), triples (16), home runs (57), total bases (830), total plate appearances (1,934), at bats (1,631) hit by pitch (59) and wins (27).

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, hits, RBIs, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases, walks, sac bunts and sac flies, total plate appearances, at bats, steal attempts, strikeouts and times hit by a pitch. Sophomore Ian Hollick stands out for the Lobos, ranking in the top-10 in batting average (.373, 2nd), slugging percentage (.645, 6th), on-base percentage (.470, 3rd), runs scored (42, T7th), hits (63, 6th), RBI (49, 3rd), doubles (16, T2nd), triples (3, T5th), home runs (8, T9th), walks (29, T2nd), total bases (109, 6th) and assists (93, 10th). The Lobos place the most in the top-10 in runs scored with five.

Junior Danny Ray Herrera has etched his name throughout the pitching categories, holding the lowest opposing batting average (.229), most innings pitched (103.1) and most games started (13) for pitchers who average at least 1 inning per game. Herrera is also in the top-10 in best ERA (2.26), stikeouts (79, 5th), strikeouts looking (19, 6th), wins (8, 2nd), fewest earned runs allowed (26, 5th), fewest runs allowed (29, T2nd), fewest doubles allowed (8, T3rd), fewest sac bunts allowed 96, T6th) and fewest walks allowed (24, 10th).

The fielders are just as strong individually, leading the conference in three of the six categories. First basemen Daniel Stovall and shortstop Ryan Barba have turned a league-high 42 double plays. Stovall is second in putouts (353), tied third in chances (365) and ninth in fielding percentage (.995). Barba also leads the conference in assists (154). Center fielder Matt Foote holds a perfect fielding percentage to tie for the conference lead and while second baseman Jordan Pacheco has dished out 148 assists (second), 41 double plays (third) and is tenth in chances (253). Sophomore catcher Drew McDonald is 10th in putouts (176).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH: Junior Danny Ray Herrera is one of 10 finalists in the CSTV Player of the Year race. Currently Herrera, who is one of seven pitchers on the list, is in seventh place with 28 votes. Keep track of the race on the Lobos' official website: www.GoLobos.com.

STREAK STRETCHING FOR STOVALL: Junior Daniel Stovall has a 14-game hit streak in tact, heading into the weekend series at BYU. The hit streak, his personal best, began Friday, April 7 at San Diego State.

IF I WAS A GAMBLING MAN: If I was a gambler, here is who I would be betting on:

When the Lobos are facing a left handed pitcher, freshman Zach Arnett has had the most success, going 4-for- with two RBI. Junior Chris Carlson has driven in the most runs vs. lefties, with 14 , including a team-high five home runs for a .458 batting average. Sophomore Jordan Pacheco has the most hits off of southpaws, going 16-for-37, hitting .432.

Against righties, sophomore Ian Hollick has the best average, hitting .384. Carlson has the most RBI (46) and home runs (11), hitting .338, while junior Daniel Stovall has a team high 54 hits with a .325 average.

Pacheco leads off an inning in every game as New Mexico's first hitter. He has a .347 average when leading off an inning on a team-high 25 hits. However, Stovall has the best average as a leadoff hitter, going 13-for 34 (.382).

When it comes to runners on base, I would want junior Jay Russell, Carlson or Stovall at the plate. Russell has the best average (.470) while Carlson has a team-high 54 RBI and Stovall has a team-high 38 hits. With two outs and runners on base, freshman Dane Hamilton holds a .533 batting average, Hollick leads the team in hits (18) and Stovall tops the team in RBI (25).