March 11, 2012
ALBUQEURQUE, N.M. - The Lobos completed the three-game sweep of No. 22 Gonzaga in front 1,425 fans at Isotopes Park Sunday afternoon. It was easily the most complete series UNM has put together this season. Gonzaga came into the series undefeated and left winless against the Lobos.
"It's what I expect out of this team," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "The thing we have to do is play baseball the right way, and if we do that we can compete against anybody."
Rudy Jaramillo was simply fantastic on the bump for the Lobos. The senior went seven innings, allowing only one run on six hits while striking out a season-high seven batters to improve his record to 2-1. Birmingham described his performance as "fantastic."
"My job is to keep our team in the game and put them in a position to win, and that's all I did," Jaramillo said. "This was a huge series for us. People are excited. We got that energy back and we're ready to go now."
The Lobos jumped out to an early lead by scoring two runs with two outs in the first. After DJ Peterson walked, Josh Walker knocked him home with his fourth triple of the season. The four triples for Melendez is already more than any Lobo recorded last season. Kyle Stiner continued his excellent series with a perfectly laid bunt. The single scored Melendez and provided Jaramillo all the support he would need.
The Bulldogs scored their lone run in the fifth. Second baseman Alex Stanford tripled to center and was driven in by a single to left by pinch hitter Andy Hunter.
The Lobos immediately struck back for two more in the bottom half of the inning. Designated hitter Alex Real led off with a single up the middle. Two batters later John Pustay tripled to right, driving home Real and chasing Gonzaga starter Derek Callahan. Peterson then laced a single to right for his sixth RBI of the week.
Josh Walker came on to relieve Jaramillo in the eighth and pitched the final two innings to earn his first career save.
The Lobo pitching staff was simply outstanding against Gonzaga, which came into the series with the 18th-highest team batting average in the nation. Gera Sanchez, Austin House, Jaramillo and Walker combined to limit the Bulldogs to three walks and one earned run over the last 20 and one-third innings of the series.
"In the last two days we really pitched," Birmingham said. "But if you're going to go where I want to take this program, you have to pitch."
The Lobos look to continue their recent run of success Tuesday night at 6 p.m. MT at Isotopes Park against intrastate rival New Mexico State. The Aggies are coming off a weekend home series against Kent State. "Now we have a winning streak going and hopefully we can continue it into Tuesday," Jaramillo said. "Hopefully this is the momentum we need to get this season right on track."