March 21, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico baseball team used a six-run eighth inning to rally and defeat Utah, 11-6, Sunday afternoon at Isotopes Park. The Lobos took two of three games from the Utes (4-13, 1-2 MWC) over the weekend to improve to 2-1 in Mountain West action and have won three of their last four home games.
Down 6-5, the Lobos (5-13-1) exploded for six runs in the eighth on five hits and two Ute errors to take a commanding 11-6 lead. Jay Russell, who collected a season-high three hits in the game, started the comeback effort with a leadoff infield single. He advanced to second on a Tim Grady sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Joe Salas pinch-hit single that tied the game at 6.
Salas, the go-ahead run, then took an interesting adventure around the bases to put the Lobos up for good. He advanced to second on his single after the throw to home plate, sneaked his way to third without even drawing a throw from the Utes after the tying run scored, and then trotted home on a Clay Westmoreland (1-2) balk. After taking the lead, the Lobos never looked back.
UNM scored four more runs in the inning on four hits and two Ute errors, including RBI hits by Garrick Haymore and Sean Murray. Haymore went 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks, while Murray went 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Utah scored an unearned run in the first to take an early 1-0 lead, but New Mexico stormed back with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to go up 5-1. In the fourth, Daniel Stovall doubled in Josh Mader and Tim Grady had a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, the Utes started the inning with four straight walks to hand UNM a run, followed by a Murray RBI fielder's choice and a Russell RBI single.
Lobo starter Cooper Eddy lasted until the fifth inning, as the Utes scored four times to tie the game at 5. Eddy gave up four runs, three earned, and eight hits in 5.2 innings of work.
Utah went ahead 6-5 on a Ryan Khoury solo homer in the seventh inning off reliever Petr Pacas. Pacas (1-1) would settle down however, and earned his first UNM victory as he struck out three and only allowed one hit in 2.1 innings of action.
The New Mexico baseball team returns to action this Wednesday, March 24, as it travels to Las Cruces, N.M., to take on the New Mexico State Aggies at 6 p.m. (Please note the schedule change - game previously set for March 23)