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Baseball Hosts New Mexico State Tuesday Night At Isotopes Park
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/29/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

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March 29, 2004

NEXT IN LOBO BASEBALL

New Mexico State Aggies (22-7-1) at New Mexico Lobos (6-16-1)

TUESDAY, MARCH 30 * 6 P.M. * ISOTOPES PARK *ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

MEDIA COVERAGE:

RADIO: Game will be broadcast on KDEF 1150 AM and www.GoLobos.com with Henry Tafoya and Dan Rivera calling the action

LIVE STATS: Gametracker available at www.GoLobos.com

SERIES INFORMATION: This will be the 204th meeting between the two schools, dating back to 1948. New Mexico leads the all-time series, 134-69. The Aggies took four of five games from the Lobos last year, and are riding a three-game winning streak over UNM after beating the Lobos 16-9 last Wednesday in Las Cruces. The teams will only play each other twice this season.

TICKETS: Individual game tickets will be on sale prior to the game (Adults - $6; Seniors - $4; Youth - $3).

For more information, call 925-LOBO or check www.GoLobos.com under Tickets.

PROJECTED PITCHING MATCHUP:

NMSU: RH Fr. #17 Zach Cobb (1-0, 10.80 ERA, 6.2 IP, 8 K, OBA - .367) vs.

UNM: RH Jr. #23 Petr Pacas (1-1, 5.60 ERA, 17.2 IP, 14 K, OBA - .221)

STORYLINE: The Lobos and Aggies will square off for the second time in less than a week as they meet Tuesday, March 30 at Isotopes Park, beginning at 6 p.m. New Mexico State used four homers in the first meeting March 24 in Las Cruces to top the Lobos for the third consecutive time, 16-9. The two teams only face each other twice this season.

New Mexico (6-16-1, 3-3 MWC) lost two of three games to San Diego State in Mountain West action over the weekend, while the Aggies (22-7-1, 2-1 Sun Belt) beat Middle Tennessee in two of three games in Las Cruces in Sun Belt play.

ON DECK: The Lobos host BYU in a three-game series at Isotopes Park April 1-3. Thursday and Friday's games are set for 6 p.m. while Saturday will begin at 12 p.m.

LOBOS DELIVER SCHOOL-RECORD CROWD ON "PACK THE PARK" NIGHT MARCH 27: The Lobos set a UNM baseball single-game attendance record when 5,761 fans showed up for "Pack the Park" night on March 27. New Mexico put on a show for the fans, scoring a season-high 13 runs to go along with 14 hits in the 13-7 win over San Diego State. The game was followed by a fireworks extravaganza.

UNM's previous high was 5,430, set on April 28, 2001, vs. Air Force. The Lobos are averaging 1,219 fans a game this season at Isotopes Park.

DON'T LEAVE FOR THE BALLPARK WITHOUT THEM - CAN'T MISS NOTES:

* Fifteen of the Lobos' first 22 games have come against teams with a winning record, and eight of those games were against teams either ranked in the Top 25 or receiving votes in the national polls. As of March 29, Texas A&M is ranked No. 9 in the country, while Nebraska is ranked 19th. Arkansas and Texas Tech are receiving votes. UNM's schedule is currently rated the 25th-toughest in the nation.

*The Lobos have won five of their last eight games at Isotopes Park. After getting off to a tough start at "The Reactor" with a 0-7-1 record in the first eight games, UNM is now 5-10-1 all-time in its new home.

Chris Dabbs is batting .400 in league play.


* The Lobos' first 12 conference games are at home...11 of UNM's 15 games in March are at home...UNM will play only four of 17 games at home in April.

*The Lobos are batting .320 in their last seven games with 57 runs (8.14 per game) and 81 hits (11.57 per game)...they scored a season-high 13 runs in Saturday's 13-7 win over San Diego State.

GET OUT THOSE BINOCULARS - LOBOS TO WATCH:

* Junior centerfielder and leadoff hitter Matt Young is the team's offensive spark. Young leads the teams in runs (24) and stolen bases (six), and is second in batting (.330) and on-base percentage (.423). He went 3-for-5 with three runs in the first meeting against NMSU.

* Junior shortstop Josh Mader, the team's No. 3 hitter, leads the team in batting (.360, fifth in Mountain West) and RBI (18). Mader tied a career high with four hits at New Mexico State last Wednesday and had a season-high four RBI in Saturday's win over SDSU. He batting .484 (15-for-31) in his last seven games with 12 RBI.

* Freshman Chris Dabbs batted .556 (5-for-9) in two games last week at right field. He had a season-high three hits at New Mexico State and a season-high three runs in the win over SDSU. Dabbs also hit his second homer of the season Saturday against the Aztecs.

MILESTONE WATCH:

* Josh Mader is one hit shy from reaching 200 for his career

*Matt Young is 16 walks away from being second all-time in the UNM record books (currently: 111) and 16 hits away from 200 for his career

*Joe Salas is two homers away from tying fourth all-time at UNM (currently: 27)

NOTES FROM THE SAN DIEGO STATE SERIES: The Aztecs took two of three games in the series to improve to 5-1 in MWC play...the Lobos fell to 3-3 in the Mountain West...SDSU won on Friday, 4-3, and had 21 hits in Sunday's 11-9 victory...UNM set a school record with 5,671 fans showing up in Saturday's 13-7 win...the Lobos had a season-high 13 runs to go along with 14 hits in the game...Sean Murray batted .500 (7-for-14) in the series with four runs and four RBI...Freshman starter Danny Ray Herrera earned his first collegiate victory in Saturday's win...San Diego State's Brock Ungricht went 9-for-14 in the series (.643) with eight RBI.

Freshman Danny Ray Herrera won his first collegiate game in Saturday's win over San Diego State.


NOTES FROM THE FIRST NEW MEXICO STATE GAME:The Lobos outhit the Aggies, 15-13...UNM hit a season-high three homers (Joe Salas, Tim Grady, Brandon Bingham) and nine RBI...Josh Mader tied a career high with four hits to go along with three RBI...Matt Young tied a season high with three runs and also had three hits...Chris Dabbs collected a season-high three hits...NMSU's Mark Aranda went 4-for-4 with two homers and eight RBI...the Aggies hit four homers...National Player of the Year candidate Billy Becher of NMSU struck out three times but also hit a three-run homer...UNM led 9-7 going into the bottom of the fifth before losing 16-9.

LAST TIME AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE: Despite collecting 15 hits, the New Mexico baseball team fell to New Mexico State, 16-9, Wednesday night at Presley Askew Field. The Aggies pounded four homers and 13 hits in the contest to improve to 20-6-1 for the season.

Junior shortstop Josh Mader tied a career-high with four hits and had a season-high three RBI for the Lobos (5-14-1). Matt Young went 3-for-4 with three runs. UNM went deep a season-high three times in the game, including shots by Joe Salas, Tim Grady and Brandon Bingham.

The Lobos jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first. Young started the game with a double, stole third, and scored on a Mader fielder's choice. Salas put UNM up 3-0 with a two-run shot over the right-field fence for his first homer of the season. Tim Grady continued the offensive attack in the first with a solo homer that hit off the scoreboard in left-center field.

NMSU answered right back in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs to make it 4-3. Albuquerque native Mark Aranda crushed a three-run blast deep to right-center.The Aggies tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the second.

Bingham picked a nice time to deliver his first hit of the season, nailing a two-run dinger to put the Lobos back up 6-4 in the third.

Young set the table once again for the Lobos in the fourth, leading off with a single and scoring on a Mader single to make it 7-4.

After striking out twice earlier in the game, the Billy Becher machine came to life for NMSU in the fourth. Becher, the 2003 NCAA home run and RBI champion, hit a towering three-run blast to center, tying the game at 7. It was Becher's 14th homer of the season.

The game of cat-and-mouse continued in the fifth, but the Aggies finally caught up to the Lobos and went ahead. Barba hit a sacrifice fly and Mader drove in his third run in the top of the inning, but NMSU responded with five runs in the back end to go up 12-9, including three on Mark Aranda's second homer of the game and 12th of the season.

The Lobos squandered two scoring opportunities in the seventh and eighth innings as strikeouts ended the threat in each inning.

Peter Arroyo added a two-run homer and Aranda knocked in two more runs on a triple in the eighth for New Mexico State. Aranda finished the game 4-for-4 with eight RBI. Kent Bargsagel (1-0) picked up his first win of the season for the Aggies, while Mike Smith took the loss for UNM (0-1).

WEEKEND UPDATE - SAN DIEGO STATE RECAP: San Diego State took two of three games from UNM last weekend (March 26-28) at Isotopes Park.

San Diego State broke a 2-2 tie and scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to edge the New Mexico baseball team, 4-3, in the series opener. UNM countered with a run in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn't enough for the Lobos.

In the top of the eighth, SDSU's Lance Zawadzki hit an RBI single to right field to score pinch runner David Hall, and then Landon Burt scored all the way from first after an errant Lobo throw on the same play. UNM got out of the jam on a double play to end the inning.

New Mexico cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth as Joe Salas nailed a run-scoring double down the left-field line, but a flyout ended the rally before the Lobos could do any more damage. Salas finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Aztec reliever Ryan Schroyer got the final out in the eighth and closed the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.

On Saturday, before a UNM record crowd of 5,671 fans, New Mexico defeated San Diego State, 13-7. The attendance marked a new single-game high for the UNM baseball program as fans jammed the stands for "Pack the Park" night.

The Lobos led the entire game en route to scoring a season-high 13 runs to go along with 14 hits. Five Lobos had at least two hits in the game, including Josh Mader, who went 3-for-4 with a season-high four RBI. Freshman third baseman Tim Grady went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Matt Young, Chris Dabbs and Sean Murray also collected two hits apiece.

On the mound, freshman Danny Ray Herrera (1-4) earned his first victory as a Lobo, allowing four runs on five hits in 5.2 innings of work. Four Lobo relievers finished the game, including Joe Salas, who closed the the ninth with two strikeouts.

San Diego State used 21 hits to defeat the New Mexico baseball team, 11-9, Sunday afternoon in the series finale. The Lobos collected 12 hits, including three each from Joe Salas and Sean Murray, but it wasn't enough as the Aztecs came back from a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Lobos.

UNM quickly built a 5-0 lead with four runs in the first and one in the second. Salas, Murray and A.J. Spitaleri all delivered RBI hits in the inning. Ryan Barba hit his second homer of the season with a solo shot to right field in the second.

SDSU tied the game with two runs in the sixth and went ahead for good with three more in the seventh. Aztec center fielder Landon Burt hit his fourth homer of the season in the seventh and went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs in the game.

UNM cut the lead to 9-8 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly and an error by the Aztec third baseman. Stovall drove in his second run of the game with a single in the ninth, but it was all Aztec reliever Scott Schroyer would allow, as he picked up his seventh save of the season.

AROUND THE HORN -

OFFENSIVELY: The Lobos, traditionally a powerful offense force, are starting to heat up at the plate after struggling in their first 16 games. UNM is batting .320 with 57 runs (8.14 per game) and 81 hits (11.57 per game) in its last seven games, including a season-high 13 runs vs. San Diego State March 27. Overall, the Lobos are batting .278 with 15 homers and 122 runs (5.3 per game). In conference play, UNM is hitting .313 as a team.

DEFENSIVELY: The Lobos have commited 36 errors for a .959 fielding percentage (opponents - 28 E, .968 pct.), which is fifth best in the Mountain West. The Lobo collected four errors in the San Diego State series. The Lobos are second in the league in fielding double plays.

PITCHING: Opponents are batting .298 against UNM pitching and have scored 169 runs - although 27 of them are unearned. UNM's staff ERA is 6.33 (fourth in the MWC) compared to opponents' 4.59. The staggering difference is the walk-to-strikeout ratio (UNM - 151 K, 109 BB; Opponents - 148 K, 64 BB). The starter's ERA is 5.44 compared to the bullpen's 7.83.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - NEW MEXICO STATE

New Mexico State took two of three games from Middle Tennessee last weekend in its opening Sun Belt conference series.

The Aggies feature a potent offense, batting .329 as a team with 11.47 runs per game. Preseason All-American Billy Becher is batting .374 with 16 homers and 51 RBI, while Albuquerque native Mark Aranda is hitting .422 with 13 homers and 45 RBI.

The pitching is a different story, as the staff ERA is 6.23. Freshman right-hander Zach Cobb is scheduled to start on Tuesday night. Cobb is 1-0 with a 10.80 ERA in 6.2 innings pitched this season.

HEAD COACH: Rocky Ward. Overall record: 146-161-1 (Fourth year). Record at NMSU: Same.

SERIES NOTES:

New Mexico leads, 134-69. The Aggies took four of five games from UNM in 2003 and beat the Lobos 16-9 on March 24 in Las Cruces.

UNM Streak: Lost three

Last meeting: New Mexico State 16, New Mexico 9 (March 24 in Las Cruces)

Last UNM win: New Mexico 6, New Mexico 2 (Feb. 21, 2003 in Las Cruces)

Coach Alday vs. NMSU: 32-34 (Home: 19-11; Away: 12-20; Neutral: 1-3)

LOBOS VS. NEW MEXICO STATE: Ryan Barba has torn apart Aggie pitching in his three games against NMSU, going 6-for-10 with four doubles and six RBI...Matt Young is batting .390 against the Aggies with 19 runs and four doubles in 11 games.

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