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Lobo Baseball Hits the Road to Face Air Force
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/22/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 22, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team will resume Mountain West Conference play when it takes on Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo., on April 23-25. The Lobos (25-14) split a mid-week series with San Francisco falling 9-5 in game one and winning 19-4 in game two. Air Force (9-28) is on a two-game winning streak. New Mexico is currently in second place in the Mountain West Conference standing at 8-4. Air Force is in last place at 1-7.

The Lobos return home to face Texas Tech on April 27 before hitting the road to take on San Diego State on April 30 - May 2.

SCOUTING AIR FORCE

• The Falcons are 9-28 on the season, 2-8 in their last 10 games and 6-10 at home.

• Air Force is coached by Mike Hutcheon, who is in his seventh year coaching the Falcons with a 74-274 (.213) record. Coach Hutcheon has an overall record of 313-414 (.430) in 14 years.

• The Falcons return 15 players with starting experience, 23 letterwinners and 13 starting pitchers from last year's squad.

• Air Force is led at the plate by senior Matt Alexander, who is hitting .355. Alexander has 10 doubles, two triples and 33 RBIs. He is tied for sixth place in the MWC with 54 hits and is tied for seventh with 86 total bases.

• The Falcons are hitting .312 as a team.

• Air Force is led on the mound by freshman right-hander Sean Carley, who is 2-3 on the season and has an ERA of 8.70. He has pitched 40.1 innings and has 27 strikeouts.

• The Falcons have a 10.91 team ERA.

• The Lobos will likely face senior right-hander Alex Truesdale on Friday, freshman left-hander Kincaid Koehler on Saturday and Carley on Sunday. Truesdale is 2-5 with a 9.47 ERA in eight starts. He ranks sixth in the MWC with 45 strikeouts. Koehler is 2-5 with a 13.21 ERA in six starts. Koehler has 21 strikeouts.

SERIES HISTORY

New Mexico leads the all-time series with Air Force, 106-40 and has won 15 straight. The Lobos swept the Falcons twice last season, once in Albuquerque and once in Colorado Springs. Air Force's last victory over the Lobos was on March 30, 2006.

IN THE NATIONAL STATS RANKINGS (as of April 20)

As a team the Lobos are ranked ninth in the nation with 407 hits, tied at 11th in the nation with 111 doubles and 18th in hits with 401. New Mexico also is ranked 10th in the NCAA with a .346 batting average. The Lobos are tied for ninth in the nation with 12 triples on the season.

Senior Justin Howard is ranked second in the nation with 70 hits, No. 46 with a .422 batting average and tied for 25th with 16 doubles.

Sophomore Gera Sanchez is tied for 61st in the NCAA with five saves.

LOBOS SPLIT WITH SAN FRANCISCO

After falling 9-5 in game one, the Lobos quickly rebounded with a 19-4 dismantling of San Francisco on April 21. Senior Justin Howard led the Lobos at the plate going, 5-for-6 with two home runs, a double and five RBIs. Howard was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Junior Ryan Honeycutt hit a monster three-run home run in the bottom of the third and went 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Senior Adam Courcha lined a solo shot off the foul pole in left field for his first home run of the season. Courcha, senior Chris Juarez and freshman Mitchell Garver each had two RBIs.

JARAMILLO FINDS RHYTHM AGAIN

Sophomore Rudy Jaramillo scatterd just three hits over six innings and picked up his first win since a 3-2 victory over USC on March 5. Jaramillo pitched with confidence and control over six scoreless innings in a 19-4 win over San Francisco. He improves to 2-1 on the season.

LOBO OFFENSE PUTS UP 29 RUNS AGAINST COPPIN STATE

The Lobo offense got 29 runs on 29 hits in a 29-3 game three victory over Coppin State this past Sunday. New Mexico got its third-highest run total in school history and tied the fourth most hits in a single game against the Eagles. The Lobos' 28 RBIs tied a school record for the second time in two years. Senior Justin Howard tied two school records and set career-highs with six hits and six runs scored in a single game. Freshman Alex Allbritton tied a school record for two triples in a single game.

ALLBRITTON RETURNS TO THE STARTING LINEUP

Freshman Alex Allbritton returned to the starting lineup on April 18 against Coppin State after missing eight games with an injury to the index finger on his throwing hand. The Aurora, Colo., native went 2-for-5 and tied a school record with two triples. Allbritton also had three RBIs.

FRESHMEN SHINE IN WEEKEND SERIES WITH COPPIN STATE

Freshmen Mitchell Garver, Bobby Mares, John Michael Twichell and Alex Allbritton each had a hand in a three-game series sweep of Coppin State this weekend. Bobby Mares remained undefeated this season and picked up his third win, scattering 5 hits over five innings with two strikeouts in game one. Twichell had the hot bat going 7-for-13 (.538) with one double, one triple and three RBIs. Garver was 4-for-6 with one double and one RBI in game three. Allbritton saw his first start since April 2 and went 2-for-5 with two triples and three RBIs.

LEADERS OF THE PACK

Senior Justin Howard leads the Lobos in batting average at a .435 clip. Howard also leads the team in on-base percentage (.485), RBIs (43), doubles (17), runs scored (50) and hits (77). Senior Chris Juarez is hitting .425 with 10 doubles and 19 RBIs. Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda is hitting .345 on the season and is second on the team in RBIs (40).

The Lobo pitching staff is led by junior Kenny Toves, who is 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA. JuniorRichard Olson has an ERA of 3.89 and is 3-3 on the season. Olson is second on the team with 42 strikeouts. Senior Willy Kesler has a 4.82 ERA, is 2-1 on the season and leads the team in strikeouts with 52.

TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST STATISTICS

The Lobos lead the Mountain West Conference with a .348 batting average and in doubles with 108. The Lobo pitching staff is fourth in the conference with a 5.51 ERA and is first in the MWC in strikeouts with 283.

Several Lobo hitters are making their presence known in the MWC rankings. Senior Justin Howard is on top of the Mountain West standings in batting average at a .435 clip. Howard also ranks first in runs scored (50), on-base percentage (.485) hits (77) and doubles (17) and is tied for second in RBIs (43). Senior Chris Juarez is second in the conference with a .425 batting average. Senior Cameron Smith ranks 10th in the conference with a .364 batting average. Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda is tied for fifth in the MWC with 40 RBIs.

The pitching staff is just as impressive in the MWC rankings. Junior Kenny Toves is ranked sixth with a 3.35 ERA. Junior Richard Olson is ranked eighth in the conference with 42 strikeouts. Senior Willy Kesler is ranked third in the conference with 52 strikeouts. Senior Edwin Carl is tied for fifth in the league with 16 batters stuck out looking. Sophomore Gera Sanchez is tied for the league lead in saves with five. On defense, Howard is ranked first in putouts with 353.

LOBOS IN THE NATIONAL POLLS

The Lobos are receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top-30 poll and the USA Today Coaches top-25 poll. New Mexico earned its way back into Ping!baseball's top-30 poll at the No. 27 spot. Two, one-run losses to then No. 9/8 Arkansas followed by a three-game series sweep of Coppin State put the Lobos back in the national rankings.

The Lobos also are ranked No. 28 in the NCAA's latest RPI rankings. The Lobos are the second-highest ranked Mountain West team. No. 19 TCU, No. 82 BYU and No. 99 San Diego State are the other MWC representatives in the top-100. New Mexico has two victories over No. 6 Texas, No. 73 USC, No. 83 BYU, No. 86 New Mexico State and three wins over No. 99 San Diego State. The Lobos face three more teams this season in the top-100, TCU (19), Texas Tech (32) and San Diego State (99).

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