May 16, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico baseball team earned the No. 2 seed in the 2008 Phillips 66 Mountain West Conference Tournament today, losing a doubleheader to No. 24 TCU, 8-3 and 14-11. The Lobos dropped to 32-22 overall and 16-7 in MWC action, while TCU took the MWC regular season championship by improving to 38-16 and 18-5 in conference play. The two teams wrap up the regular season on Saturday, May 17. Game time at Isotopes Park is set for 12 p.m. with Senior Day presentations beginning around 11:30 a.m.
"We didn't pitch very well today and a couple of guys that we were counting on didn't have good days today," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "In the second game, we'd throw up some runs and they'd throw up some runs. It came down to who had the good at-bat with the bases full of runners. I'm not ashamed of our kids one bit. I'm proud of them."
Game One - TCU 8, New Mexico 3
TCU took an early 2-0 lead with single runs in the first two innings of the game. Lobo starter Bobby LaFromboise (5-3) held TCU scoreless for three innings before giving up another run in the fifth inning, 3-0. LaFromboise struck out his fourth batter of the game to start the seventh before begin lifted for Will Kerr. TCU added to its lead in the top of the seventh, 7-0, before the Lobos got on the scoreboard.
Matt Hibbitts started the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle, followed by singles by Brian Cavazos-Galvez and Kevin Atkinson to cut TCU's lead, 7-2. TCU added a run in the top of the ninth, 8-2, before Hibbitts score for a second time on a sacrifice fly by Atkinson, 8-3.
Hibbitts, Cavazos-Galvez and Atkinson each finished Game One with two hits. Atkinson had two of the Lobos three RBI.
Game Two - TCU 14, New Mexico 11
Senior Ian Hollick started his 200th game in a Lobo uniform and got things going in the first inning for UNM with a two-run home run to take the lead, 2-1. Cavazos-Galvez added a run later in the inning on a Rafael Neda double, 3-1.
TCU countered in the second inning with six runs to take a 7-3 lead. But New Mexico found their bats in the bottom of the inning, battling back with six runs of their own.
When it looked like a line out double play to the TCU third baseman was going to kill the inning, UNM responded with two walks and five hits, 9-7. TCU reliever Trent Appleby (6-1) allowed the hits that drove in the six runs. Appleby held on to earn the win by holding UNM scoreless for four innings, as TCU took back the lead, 12-9.
Daniel Grubbs (2-2) took the loss for UNM after giving up the go ahead runs in the top of the seventh. Scott Gracey hit a double in the bottom of the seventh to drive in Atkinson and Neda, cutting the Frogs lead to 12-11.
TCU added two insurance runs in the top of the eighth, 14-11.
Atkinson led the Lobos with three hits, while Hollick, Cavazos-Galvez, Neda, and Adam Courcha had two hits each.