May 26, 2006
LAS VEGAS - New Mexico's season came to end tonight as UNLV won 8-6 to advance to the finals of the loser's bracket at the Mountain West Conference Tournament at Earl E. Wilson stadium. The Lobos finish 30-29 overall and above .500 for the first time since 2003.
The game started off extremely tight through the first six innings. The lead changed hands five times with three ties.
The Lobos grabbed a 6-5 lead in the top of the sixth as senior Ryan Barba singled to left, driving in junior Chris Dabbs. UNLV left fielder Zach Borba missed the scoop, sending the ball rolling quickly toward the wall. See the mistake, sophomore Jordan Pacheco was sent home. He slid wide of the plate, appearing to miss the tag by catcher Albert Zerega and reach back to score. But the home plate umpire disagreed with the enraged announced crowd of 228, calling Pacheco out.
UNLV's Zach Borba tied the game with his first home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth. One inning later, Barba broke to cover second, expecting a throw from freshman pitcher Brandon Hewett but he went to the plate, giving Chris Bonnell enough room to sneak a single back through the left side for the go-ahead run. A sac fly extended the UNLV lead to 8-6.
Freshman Zach Arnett got on with a single in the eight but was the final out of the inning as Barba grounded to second baseman CJ Lang, who flipped to shortstop Mike Cruz for the force.
Junior Chris Carlson singled to lead off the ninth but junior Daniel Stovall hit into a double play. Sophomore Ian Hollick singled to keep the Lobos alive but UNLV closer Jabe Beard snatched his sixth save, striking out junior Matt Foote.
Carlson and Arnett were both 2-for-3 to lead the Lobo offense. Pacheco scored a team-high two runs, going 1-for-3 with two walks. Bonnell was 3-for-4 with two RBI while Keith Smith was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Rebels.
Hewett (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. Eric Brock (2-0) earned the win, allowing just one hit and one walk with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings.