Lobos Open Four-game Homestand With Single Game Against New Mexico State
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/20/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 20, 2006

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UP NEXT FOR THE LOBOS: The Lobos start a four-game homestand with a single-game against New Mexico State. New Mexico, 5-3 overall, has won two of their last three, taking the three-game series at Arizona over the weekend. New Mexico State, 5-5 overall, also was victorious in their weekend series, winning two of three against Gonzaga. The two team's met once this year, Feb. 7, with UNM winning 5-3 in Las Cruces.

Sophomore south paw Bobby Moore is scheduled to start for the Lobos. Moore, who started last Tuesday's game with Texas Tech, is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA. He has thrown 4 innings for six hits, three runs, six walks and five strikeouts. Right-handed freshman Dillon Smith is slated to pitch for the Aggies. Smith, 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA, was the losing pitcher in the first game of the season between these two teams. He allowed five htis, three runs, three walks and struck out five in 6 innings.

Live stats will be available on the Lobos' official athletic website, www.GoLobos.com, free of charge. KDEF 1150 AM will broadcast the game locally and be available on the internet via the Lobos' website.

A LOOK AT THE LOBOS: The Lobos are off to a great start in the 2006 campaign, compiling a 5-3 record. They won their first game at New Mexico State to start the season, ending a three-game losing steak to the Aggies. The Lobos also ended a 23-game losing streak to Arizona this past weekend with a 6-5 victory on Friday night. The responded the next day, winning 7-3.

The team batting average made a giant leap last week, raising almost 50 points in four games. They now hold a .256 average overall. Freshman Max Willett has the best batting average at .500 but has only seen four at bats. Classmate Zach Arnett holds the second highest average (.462), making an appearance in three games. Leading the way for everyday players is sophomore Jordan Pacheco, who's hitting .345. He also leads the team in hits (10) and it tied for the team lead in runs scored (9) and doubles (2). Junior Matt Foote holds the fourth best batting average (.300) and shares the lead with Pacheco for most runs scored. Juniors Chris Carlson and Daniel Stovall top the team in RBIs with 11 and 10, respectively. Carlson and Stovall combine for four of the team's five home runs with two apiece.

The pitching staff holds a 4.56 ERA with a Mountain West Conference-leading five wins. Junior lefty Danny Ray Herrera is the Lobos sole multi-game winner with two and leads the team in innings pitched (22.1), games started (3) and strikeouts (15). He has a 2.42 ERA. Senior Nate Melek has also been solid for the Lobos, going 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts. Melek, throwing 14.2 innings, has one complete game under his belt. Junior Damon Miller has been one of the top relievers for New Mexico. Miller, in four appearances, has a 1.35 ERA in 6.2 innings of work. He has allowed just four hits, one run and four walks while gathering a save and six strikeouts. Freshman Chace Lankford is the other top reliever for the Lobos. Lanford has a 2.08 ERA in three appearances. He has one save and three strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work, allowing just four hits, one run and one walk.

SCOUTING THE AGGIES: New Mexico State is 5-5 overall after taking two of three against Gonzaga this past weekend. This will be their first game away from Askew Field.

The team is being outhit by its opponents, holding a .286 batting average compared to its opponents' .313 avg. Five players have played and started in all 10 games for the Aggies. Abe Aguirre leads the team with a .436 average and a team-high 17 hits. Luke Hopkins has a .419 average, leading the team in runs score (9), home runs (5), walks (18) and RBI (15). Vince Rodden is hitting just .238 but has a team-high nine stolen bases on nine attempts.

New Mexico State has a higher ERA than its opponents average at 6.65 compared to 6.57. Jason Conner, Tyler Sturdevant and Frankie Duran have all started multiple games for the Aggies. Conner and Sturdevant lead the team in innings pitched (18.0) and Sturdevant has a team-high 20 strikeouts. Tuesday's starter, Dillion Smith, holds a 3.38 ERA. He is 0-1 in two appearances, making his only start of the season on Feb. 7 against New Mexico. In 8 innings, Smith has allowed six hits, three runs, four walks and five strikeouts.

UNM VS. NEW MEXICO STATE, THE SERIES: UNM holds a 140-71 series lead over NMSU. Excluding the 23 games which sites are unknown, UNM is 53-42 at Las Cruces, 76-23 in Albuquerque and 0-2 at neutral locations. In the 21st century, the Lobos are 14-17 overall against the Aggies. They are 9-5 in Albuquerque and 5-12 in Las Cruces. The Lobos won the only meeting between the clubs this season, 5-3 in Las Cruces. UNM has won four in a row in Albuquerque.

The series split last season with UNM winning all three contests at Isotopes Park while NMSU rebounded with a three-game sweep at Askew Field. Head coach Rich Alday is 35-36 in his career against New Mexico State, going 21-11 at home, 14-23 away and 0-2 at neutral locations.

Junior Matt Foote earned his first MWC Player of the Week award for his production vs. Texas Tech and Arizona.

FOOTE NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior center fielder Matt Foote was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week for the first time in his career. From Albuquerque, N.M., Foote hit .375 (6-for-16) at the plate with two doubles, three RBI and six runs scored last week, as New Mexico collected two wins, both coming in a three-game series at Arizona. He started the week off with a 1-for-4, one RBI, one run scored performance in a loss to Texas Tech. In game one vs. Arizona, he went 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Foote drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth, then scored the game-winning run in the Lobos' 6-5 win. In game two he was 1-for-3 with another run scored in UNM's 7-3 victory. In the final game of the series, Foote went 3-for-5 with an RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base in a 19-16 loss. His three hits and three runs scored were both career highs. Defensively, Foote had 12 putouts and an assist with no errors from centerfield.

RETURNING HOME: It didn't take sophomore catcher Drew McDonald long to make the trip back home. McDonald, a Tucson native, transfered to New Mexico this semester after spending the first year and a half of his collegiate career at Arizona. McDonald saw limited time at Arizona last season and didn't want to split time this year, making the move to Albuquerque, where he has started five of the first eight games.

McDonald didn't disappoint any of his friends or family either, going 3-for-8 (.375) with three RBI to lead the Lobos to two wins. The first win, 6-5 on Friday, ended a 23-game losing streak to Arizona.

HOME SWEET HOME: Albuquerque native, freshman Zach Arnett put on a show is his home debut as a Lobo last Tuesday. Arnett, who was hitless in his first collegiate appearance on the road, went 3-for-5 with two RBI against Texas Tech. Starting Sunday's game at Arizona, Arnett against went 3-for-5 with a RBI. For the week, he was 6-for-10 (.600) with a triple and three RBI. He also had a perfect fielding percentage with 14 putouts, three assists, turned one double play and caught one runner stealing.

MILLER MAKING HIS MOVE: Junior transfer Damon Miller has proven he can be counted on. Last week he made a team-high three appearances, getting one save. In 4.2 innings of work, he allowed just three hits and three walks while holding his opponents scoreless and striking out four. His perfect ERA in week two dropped his overall ERA to 1.35, the second best on the team. Miller leads the team in appearances (4) and is second in strikeouts (6).

CLOSING CALL: Freshman Chace Lankford has answered the call to the bullpen, taking the ball to close out three of New Mexico's first five games. Lankford is 1-1 with a save. He has thrown 4.1 innings, allowing just four hits, one run and one walk while striking out three. Lankford has the team's fourth lowest ERA at 2.08.

FORESEEING THE FUTURE?: Even though it is extremely early in the season, the Lobos' five wins has them in a two-way tie for first in the Mountain West Conference. They also started the season 3-1 for the first times since 2000. That season the Lobos went on to a 35-21 record, including a 22-8 mark in the Mountain West, earning the first MWC Championship.

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.