May 6, 2009
Lobo Baseball (32-16, 12-8)
Games #49-51 at Stanford
Friday, May 8 6:30 p.m. (MDT)
Saturday, May 9 2 p.m. (MDT)
Sunday, May 10 2 p.m. (MDT)
Klein Field at Sunken Diamond Palo Alto, Calif.
Game #52 at St. Mary's
monday, May 11 1 p.m. (MDT)
Louis guisto Field Moraga, Calif.
Live Stats: Links available on GoLobos.com.
Against Stanford (22-19, 10-11 Pac 10): New Mexico and Stanford have met just one time before on the baseball diamond - March 30, 1972, with the Cardinal pulling out a 7-6 win in Palo Alto.
Against St. Mary's (27-23, 8-10 WCC): This will be the first meeting between New Mexico and St. Mary's in baseball. The game was a late addition to the schedule.
Up Next: The Lobos will finish the regular season at Air Force, May 14-16.
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
Starting at Stanford/St. Mary's ... The Lobos will start senior John Hesketh, freshman Rudy Jaramillo, and junior Ryan Escarcega at Stanford this weekend. Stanford will start freshmen Jordan Pries and Brett Mooneyham and senior Jeffrey Inman. Starters for Monday's game at St. Mary's are yet to be determined.
Step 1 - National Recognition (Check) ... The Lobos are still on the radar of the national college baseball polls, receiving votes in several this week. The Lobos were as high as No. 18 in the March 30 Baseball America poll. In 1985, the last time the Lobos cracked the Top 25 in the Baseball America, they climbed as high as No. 14.
Step 2 ... Win A Conference Championship (Work In Progress) ... Quick Notes About The Lobos (32-16, 12-8 MWC) ... The Lobos are off to one of the best starts in program history at 32-16 ... For the first time since 1985, the University of New Mexico baseball team cracked the national polls on March 23, entering the Baseball America poll at No. 21 ... New Mexico was featured in March 19th's Baseball America Weekend Preview for the Stat of the Week - 1.29 triples per game. A big jump from 0.42 in 2008 ... The starting infield of Kevin Atkinson (1B), Mike Brownstein (2B), Daniel Gonzalez (SS), and Dane Hamilton (3B) started every game in the infield for 38 consecutive games to begin the season. The streak ended on April 17 when Atkinson missed his first game as a Lobo with a hamstring injury, 97 consecutive starts. Brownstein has made 107 consecutive starts as the Lobo second baseman ... UNM played in the friendly confines of Isotopes Park for 25 of its first 30 games of the 2009 season, that included six consecutive weekends ... After April 1, the Lobos will only be in Albuquerque for 6 of their last 26 regular season games ... Head coach Ray Birmingham coached his 100th game as a Lobo on Sunday, April 19.
Step 3 ... Earn Bid To NCAA Tournament (Work In Progress) ... There are several components involved with earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament, something the Lobos are trying to do for the first time since 1962 ... First, wins are important. There isn't a conversation about the NCAAs if the W's are not starting to pile up. UNM is doing well there at 32-16, Top-50 in the nation in winning percentage ... Next, strength of schedule. According to nationally-recognized baseball website, Boydsworld.com, the Lobos were sitting at 90 on the old SOS ranking, with a recent 77 being their highest ranking of the season. The Lobos have non-conference series remaining with Stanford (10) and St. Mary's (47) ... And don't forget about that pesky RPI ranking. The NCAA's official RPI on May 5 has the Lobos sitting at 77. Boyd's World continues to be one of the closest RPI to what the NCAA will release. Going into Tuesday, May 5, the Lobos are sitting at 77 after being as high as 28 going into the Northwestern series.
Injuries Of Note ... Three Lobos have been moved to the unable to play list. Senior third baseman Dane Hamilton is day-to-day for a thumb injury that occurred during the Nebraska game on Tuesday, April 28. Starter Travis Dirk has been sidelined for the remainder of the season with an elbow injury, while reserve infielder Dan Hayduk had shoulder surgery in mid-April and will miss the rest of the season.
Jaramillo Throws First Complete Game of the Season ... True freshman Rudy Jaramillo threw the first Lobo complete game of the season on Friday, May 1, earning a come-from-behind 8-4 win over UNLV at Isotopes Park. He did not allow a walk and tied his season-high of 6 strikeouts in the nine-inning outing to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Jaramillo made the first start of his collegiate career on Saturday, April 11 at Utah. The lefty from Marcos de Niza High School in Chandler, Ariz., ended up with a no decision, but threw a solid six innings, striking out six and giving up just two runs on five hits. Jaramillo earned his first win in relief on March 1 vs. Northern Colorado (10-8). He picked up his second win of the season on March 17 against No. 3 Texas A&M in relief (10-6). It was the first time a true freshman has started a game in the Ray Birmingham era. The last true freshman to start on the mound for the Lobos was Shane Dyer on May 25, 2007 vs. UNLV in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
Jaramillo carries a 3.86 ERA in 14 appearances with three starts. Jaramillo was the pitcher of record when the third BYU game in Provo was called.
Relief You Can Count On ... sounds like an upset stomach or pain relief commercial. The Lobo bullpen has had its ups and downs throughout the season.
Junior Cole White leads UNM and the MWC with 24 appearances and was the last Lobo holding onto a 0.00 ERA. The junior from Blossom, Texas, gave up his first earned runs of the season on April 1 on his way to his third save in three attempts in a five-game span. White now holds an 2.06 ERA in 35.0 innings of work, giving up 17 hits and 24 walks, while striking out 41, second on the UNM staff. He picked up his first two saves of the season in the BYU series. White earned his second win of the season and his fourth save in the Utah series. His third win of the season was a 6-5 victory against No. 15 San Diego State on April 19.
Seniors Daniel Grubbs and Clinton Cox have six of the Lobos' other seven saves. Grubbs, from Reno, Nev., holds a 2.86 ERA with a 2-1 record and a save. He has only walked 9 batters and struck out 22 in 22.0 innings. Cox, a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, leads the team with 5 saves in 19 appearances.
Freshman Gabe Aguilar is staying among the leaders of the pitching staff with a 2.08 ERA in 15 appearances. Aguilar, a lefty from Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, picked up two wins in relief appearances at Texas Tech (Feb. 24; 13-10) and against Northern Colorado (Feb. 28; 13-5).
Patience Is A Virtue ... and it pays at the plate. The Lobos have five players with over 20 free passes this season. Senior Mike Brownstein leads the way with 33 free trips to first base, 30 walks and 3 hit by pitch. Sophomore Rafael Neda is close behind with 32 on 24 walks and 7 hit by pitch. Junior Max Willett has 27 with 20 walks and 7 hit by pitch, while sophomore Ryan Honeycutt has 25, 20 walks and 5 hit by pitch.
Senior Dane Hamilton was leading the pack until a thumb injury sidelined him at Nebraska. Hamilton has had 29 free passes by virtue of 18 walks, a new career season-high, and 11 hit by pitch this season. Hamilton's season-high for walks in his three previous years as a Lobo was 14 in 2008 and his career total was 33 coming into the 2009 season. Prior to this season, he had only been hit by a pitch four times in his Lobo career.
10 Or Better ... Well UNM picked up right where they left off in 2008. Lobo fans are watching the scoreboard, not just for the score, but for the hits column as well. Why? In the Ray Birmingham era, UNM is 59-16 when they get at least 10 hits in a game. Just 7-25 when they don't get to 10. The Lobos' season-high is 31 against Binghamton in the first game of the March 7 doubleheader. The 2008 game-high was 28 hits against Air Force on April 12, 2008 in Farmington. If the Lobos also reach 10 runs in a 10+ hits game, they are 35-4.
Leftymania ... The Lobos left-handed pitchers are having a field day starting and coming in from the bullpen. The sextet of Gabe Aguilar (Fr.), Bobby Moore (Sr.), Kenny Toves (So.), John Hesketh (Sr.), Jason Oatman (Jr.), and Rudy Jaramillo (Fr.) are a combined 20-7 with 28 starts and a 4.71 ERA. They have 160 strikeouts and 79 walks in 85 appearances.
Triple-palooza ... It is a triple-fest for the Lobos this season. During the first weekend of action, UNM posted 11 in the first four games of the season against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Two weeks later, UNM added 10 triples in the four-game series against Binghamton. The Lobos currently have 42 triples on the season. The UNM record for team triples in a season is 62 in 1980. Keith Hagman holds the UNM individual record of 17 in 1980, which is also an NCAA record. Currently, Mike Brownstein leads the Lobos and the nation with 11. Brian Cavazos-Galvez and Dane Hamilton are second in the nation with seven each. All three have hit two in a game once this season, tying the school record for triples in a game.
Hesketh Becomes Weekend Mainstay ... John Hesketh has made a start in every weekend series for the Lobos in 2009. Until the Utah series, Hesketh was starting the first game of every series. Hesketh threw the second game of the Utah series, a Friday night start, after throwing 147 pitches against TCU the previous weekend. The senior from British Columbia threw his longest outing as a Lobo on March 6 vs. Binghamton, 8 innings for a 15-3 win. On March 26 vs. BYU, Hesketh struck out a career-high 9 batters. Hesketh is tops in the league with 12 starts and is among the league leaders with 5 wins and a 3.31 ERA. He is second in the league in strikeouts with 62.