April 3, 2010
LAS VEGAS, Nev.-- Senior Willy Kesler scattered six hits over 7.1 innings and senior Justin Howard went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team to a 6-2 victory over the UNLV Rebels at Wilson Stadium today. With the win the Lobos take two of three from the Rebels and are 5-1 over their last six Mountain West Conference games. New Mexico improves to 19-10 on the season and 6-3 in MWC play. The Rebels fall to 16-12 and 2-4.
"I've been preaching all season that we need to pitch well," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "The last five or six games it's happened. The only way you get to championship games is through pitching. We spent a lot of time recruiting pitching and it's starting to come around.Our pitching staff is starting the make the adjustments we need. We are a hitting team and all the teams I've coached have been hitting teams. We are starting to put it all together and it's better to get hot later in the season."
The Lobos handed UNLV starter Matt Hutchison (3-1) his first loss on the season. Hutchison gave up five runs off ten hits in eight innings of work. The Lobos scored one run in the first, three in the third and one in the fourth and eighth innings.
Howard drove in three of the Lobos' six runs on the day. In the top of the first, Howard hit a solo home run to left field. Senior Adam Courcha led off the third with a walk. Howard then doubled to right field to score Courcha from first. In the fourth Howard hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score sophomore Ben Woodchick from third base. Howard ended the day 2-for-3 with three RBIs, a home run a double and two runs scored.
Kesler (2-1) picked up his second-straight victory and had five strikeouts on the day. He has had at least five strikeouts in his last five appearances.
The Lobos return to the friendly confines of Isotopes Park on April 8-10 when they host BYU for a three-game MWC series. All three games will be broadcast live on 101.7 (KQTM) The TEAM. For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com.