Willett Named MWC Player of the Week; Lobos At Arizona
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/13/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 13, 2009

  • Lobo Baseball at Arizona Game Notes

    Lobo Baseball (28-8, 8-4)
    Games #37-38 • at Arizona
    Tuesday, April 14 • 8 p.m. (MDT)
    Wednesday, April 15 • 8 p.m. (MDT)
    Sancet Stadium • Tucson, Ariz.

    Live Stats and All Access: Links available on GoLobos.com.

    Against Arizona (14-16, 3-9 Pac 10): Arizona holds a 155-33 lead in a series that goes back to 1940. The Wildcats are coming off a 1-2 weekend against Oregon State.

    Up Next: San Diego State will be in Albuquerque for a three-game series, April 17-19. Pack the Park Night is set for Friday, April 17 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $2.

    WILLETT NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK ... Max Willett, a Highlands Ranch, Colo., native, hit .500 (6-for-12) from the plate, with three doubles, three RBI and four runs scored in New Mexico's three-game sweep over conference foe Utah last week. In the opening game of the series, Willett went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, including the game-winner, and a stolen base in UNM's 5-4 extra-inning win. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI in game two on Friday. His two-run double in the ninth inning plated the tying run that took the game into extra innings. The Lobos scored another run in the 10th inning to bring home the 7-6 victory. Willett concluded the series with a 1-for-4, two-run scored performance in New Mexico's 4-3, 10-inning victory. Defensively, Willett was flawless in the field, tallying six putouts from the centerfield position.


    • Step 1 - National Recognition (Check) ... The Lobos are still on the radar of the national college baseball polls, receiving votes in several this week. The Lobos were as high as No. 18 in the March 30 Baseball America poll. In 1985, the last time the Lobos cracked the Top 25 in the Baseball America, they climbed as high as No. 14.

    • On The Road Again ... The Lobos will play 14 of their last 20 regular season games on the road. UNM has two home series remaining on the schedule - San Diego State (April 17-19) and UNLV (May 1-3). The Lobos are 21-4 in the friendly confines of Isotopes Park this season.

    • Starting At Arizona ... The Lobos will put two veterans on the mound Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Tucson. Senior lefty Bobby Moore gets the nod for Tuesday, while redshirt-junior Willy Kesler will start on Wednesday. Arizona will send Joe Allison and Daniel Workman against UNM. Both are making their first career starts.

    • Lobos Add A Game ... New Mexico picked up one more road game in May to fill out the 56-game regular season schedule. UNM will extend its stay in Northern California with a single game at West Coast Conference member St. Mary's on Monday, May 11. Game time in Moraga, Calif. is set for 1 p.m. (MDT).

    Jaramillo Makes First Collegiate Start ... True freshman Rudy Jaramillo made the first start of his collegiate career on Saturday, April 11 at Utah. The lefty from Marcos de Niza High School in Chandler, Ariz., ended up with a no decision, but threw a solid six innings, striking out six and giving up just two runs on five hits. Jaramillo earned his first win in relief on March 1 vs. Northern Colorado (10-8). He picked up his second win of the season on March 17 against No. 3 Texas A&M in relief (10-6). It was the first time a true freshman has started a game in the Ray Birmingham era. The last true freshman to start on the mound for the Lobos was Shane Dyer on May 25, 2007 vs. UNLV in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

    Classmate Gabe Aguilar leads the team with a 0.84 ERA in nine appearances. Aguilar, a lefty from Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, picked up two wins in relief appearances at Texas Tech (Feb. 24; 13-10) and against Northern Colorado (Feb. 28; 13-5).

    Kesler Makes Return ... Redshirt junior Willy Kesler made his first start of the season on Wednesday, April 1, against Texas Tech. The Thornton, Colo. native threw for three innings, giving up just two runs and a walk in his second outing of the season. Kesler returned to the mound for the first time on Sunday, March 22, just 10 months after successful Tommy John surgery. Kesler faced three batters in the sixth inning against Northwestern before giving way to freshman Gabe Aguilar. Kesler was one of the Lobos top pitchers in 2008 with a 4-0 record and 1.90 ERA.

    Relief You Can Count On ... sounds like an upset stomach or pain relief commercial. But it also describes the Lobos bullpen, in particular relief pitchers Cole White, Daniel Grubbs and Clinton Cox.

    White has made 17 appearances and was the last Lobo holding onto a 0.00 ERA. The junior from Blossom, Texas, gave up his first earned runs of the season on April 1 on his way to his third save in three attempts in a five-game span. White now holds an 1.03 ERA in 26.1 innings of work, giving up 11 hits and 19 walks, while striking out 30. He picked up his first two saves of the season in the BYU series. White earned his second win of the season and his fourth save in the Utah series.

    Senior roommates Grubbs and Cox have five of the Lobos' other six saves. Grubbs, from Reno, Nev., holds a 2.00 ERA with a 2-0 record and a save. He has only walked three batters and struck out 19 in 18.0 innings. Cox, a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, leads the team with 4 saves in 11 appearances.

    Patience Is A Virtue ... and it pays at the plate. Senior Dane Hamilton has had 24 free passes by virtue of 15 walks, a new career season-high, and 9 hit by pitch this season. Hamilton's season-high for walks in his three previous years as a Lobo was 14 in 2008 and his career total was 33 coming into the 2009 season. Prior to this season, he had only been hit by a pitch four times in his Lobo career.

    Sophomore Rafael Neda is starting to catch up with 15 walks and 7 hit by pitch in this season. So is senior Mike Brownstein who leads the team in walks with 20 and has been hit by a pitch twice.

    10 Or Better ... Well UNM picked up right where they left off in 2008. Lobo fans are watching the scoreboard, not just for the score, but for the hits column as well. Why? In the Ray Birmingham era, UNM is 56-11 when they get at least 10 hits in a game. Just 6-22 when they don't get to 10. The Lobos' season-high is 31 against Binghamton in the first game of the March 7 doubleheader. The 2008 game-high was 28 hits against Air Force on April 12, 2008 in Farmington. If the Lobos also reach 10 runs in a 10+ hits game, they are 33-2.

    Leftymania ... The Lobos left-handed pitchers are having a field day starting and coming in from the bullpen. The sextet of Gabe Aguilar (Fr.), Bobby Moore (Sr.), Kenny Toves (So.), John Hesketh (Sr.), Jason Oatman (Jr.), and Rudy Jaramillo (Fr.) are a combined 17-3 with 21 starts and a 4.40 ERA. They have 127 strikeouts and 56 walks in 61 appearances.

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