May 20, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Junior shortstop Josh Mader went 4-for-4 with two homers and a career-high six RBI -- including a grand slam -- and the Lobos moved into a tie for the Mountain West lead as New Mexico defeated UNLV, 14-12, Thursday afternoon at Isotopes Park. The Lobos and Rebels are now knotted atop the MWC standings with a 19-9 mark. They will play two more games to decide the MWC title Friday and Saturday at Isotopes Park, with both games beginning at noon.
In a game that featured three ties and four lead changes, the Lobos (23-26-1) came out on top with two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth. Down 12-11 going into the seventh, Matt Young singled in Ryan Barba to tie the game at 12. Young scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, putting UNM up 13-12. Daniel Stovall knocked in A.J. Spitaleri from first with a deep double to center field in the eighth for the final run of the game.
Joe Salas closed down the Rebels in the eighth and ninth innings to improve to 3-1 for the season. Salas threw 2 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits.
The Lobos pounded out 16 hits in the game. In addition to Mader's four hits and two homers, Spitaleri went 3-for-4 and Barba went 3-for-5 with three runs and a three-run homer.
New Mexico jumped out for two runs in the first on a Mader RBI triple and a Spitaleri run-scoring single.
The Rebels (32-21) tied the game with two runs in the second, but Barba hit a three-run blast in the fourth to put UNM back on top, 5-2. Mader made it 6-2 with a solo shot in the fifth.
UNLV took its first lead of the game with five runs in the sixth. The Rebels knocked out UNM starter Jason Fernandez in the inning after Eddie Gill hit a two-run double to left-center that made it 7-6 in favor of UNLV.
New Mexico matched the Rebels with a five-spot in the bottom half of the sixth. With the bases loaded and the corners playing in with one out, Matt Foote hit a shallow pop fly over first baseman Eddie Gill that turned into an RBI single to tie the game at 7. The next batter, Josh Mader, delivered a 2-1 offering in the bullpen past the left-field fence for a grand slam.
But it wouldn't be enough. For the second straight frame, the Rebels answered with a five-run inning, putting them up 12-11 in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and two outs, Eddie Gill hit a shallow fly to right field, and the popout resulted in a three-run triple after right fielder Chris Dabbs and second baseman Ryan Barba collided. Dabbs had to leave the game after the collision.
The Lobos provided the late inning heroics with three runs in the seventh and eighth innings for their 12th come-from-behind win of the year.
Ben Scheinbaum (3-4) took the loss in relief for UNLV. Ryan Bird went 4-for-5 with three runs the Rebels, who collected 17 hits in the game.