June 2, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico is headed to its first NCAA Regional since 1962 this Friday-Monday, June 4-7, in Fullerton, Calif at Goodwin Field. The Lobos (37-20 overall, 14-8 MWC) earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I Baseball Championships on Monday, May 31 with an impressive resume that includes two wins over No. 2 overall seed Texas and one win over No. 6 TCU. The Lobos have been in the top-50 in RPI all season and have been ranked nationally in almost every offensive statistical category.
The road to Omaha begins with Stanford (31-23 overall, 14-13 Pac-10) on Friday, June 4 at 5 p.m. MT. Cal State Fullerton (41-15 overall, 21-3 Big West) will face Big 10 champion Minnesota (30-28 overall, 15-9 Big-10) on Friday night, June 4 at 8 p.m. MT.
All games in the Fullerton Regional will be televised live on ESPNU. Justin Kutcher and Morgan Ensberg will call the action from Goodwin Field. All Lobo games will also be broadcast live on 101.7 FM The TEAM. Scott Galetti and former Lobo Rick Ronquillo (1978-83) will call the broadcast from Fullerton.
SCOUTING STANFORD Stanford is 31-23 on the season and is 5-5 in its last 10 games.
The Cardinal is coached by Mark Marquess, who is in his 34th year at Stanford. He has amassed a career record of 1,387-717-7 (.657).
Stanford returns 12 players with starting experience and six starting pitchers.
The Cardinal are led at the plate by freshman infielder Kenny Diekroeger, who is ranked 10th in the Pac-10 with a .351 batting average. He has 11 doubles, five home runs and one home run.
Stanford is hitting .288 as a team, which ranks eighth in the Pac-10.
Stanford is led on the mound by sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Pries, who has a 3.86 ERA, has thrown two complete games and is 4-3 on the season.
AGAINST STANFORDStanford has a 3-1 series advantage over New Mexico. The Lobos and Cardinal played a three-game series on May 8-10, 2009 in Palo Alto, Calif. The Lobos won the first game on May 8, 7-1 but were defeated 17-5 in game two and 9-4 in game three.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRACKET Cal State Fullerton is 41-15 on the season, has won eight of their last ten and is 22-8 at home. Fullerton is hitting .348 as a team and has a 3.76 team ERA. Fullerton has a 4-7 series advantage over New Mexico. The Lobos haven't defeated the Titans or won in Fullerton since March 13, 1985. The Lobos are 3-7 in Fullerton.
Minnesota is 30-28 on the season and won the Big 10 Tournament Championship on Saturday, May 29, defeating Iowa 13-5. The Gophers are 8-2 in their last ten games. Minnesota is hitting .306 as a team and has a 4.62 team ERA. The Lobos and Gophers have met just once, in 2008. The Gophers took a 7-3 win in Minneapolis, Minn. and hold a 1-0 series advantage.
IN THE NATIONAL STATS RANKINGS (as of June 1)As a team the Lobos are ranked fourth in the nation with a .350 batting average, eighth with 736 hits and are eighth with 157 doubles.
Senior Justin Howard is second the nation with 117 hits, a .455 batting average and doubles with 32.
LOBOS FINISH SECOND AT 2010 CONOCO MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPThe No. 2-seeded University of New Mexico baseball team finished second to No. 6 TCU in the 2010 Conoco Mountain West Conference Baseball Champioship on Friday, May 29 in San Diego, Calif. The Lobos were upset in their first game and suffered a 6-3 loss to No. 5-seeded UNLV. Facing elimination and a 6-0 deficit, the Lobos clawed back and defeated No. 4 BYU, 7-6. Senior Justin Howard smashed a three-run home run to straight away center field to tie the game at six and cap off a four -un sixth inning. Senior Max Willett drove home junior Ryan Honeycutt for the winning run in the seventh. The Lobos' offense exploded in a 10-3 victory over UNLV and placed them in the championship game against top-seeded No. 6 TCU. The Lobos fell to the Horned Frogs, 2-0 in the tournament's final game.
Three Lobos were named to the all-tournament team. Howard, Honeycutt and junior Mike Lachapelle earned all-tournament honors. Four Lobos also were selected to the All-MWC team. Senior Willy Kesler earned first-team honors and seniors Justin Howard and Chris Juarez and junior Rafael Neda earned second-team honors.
SENIOR Justin Howard, ONE OF THE BEST HITTERS IN THE NATIONSenior Justin Howard is ranked second in the NCAA in batting average (.455), hits (117) and doubles with 32. Howard moved into second place all-time at UNM for hits in a single-season with hit No. 107 on Sunday, May 16 against Delaware State. Howard went 12-for-14 (.857) on the weekend and wrapped up a new milestone almost every at-bat. The Ennis, Texas native became the first player in Division I to reach 100 hits this season with his third hit of the day on May 15. On May 16, in his fourth at-bat of the day, Howard doubled to left-center field for hit No. 107. Howard added hit No. 108 with a single to the pitcher in his last at-bat of the day.
LEADERS OF THE PACKSenior Justin Howard leads the Lobos in batting average at a .455 clip. Howard also leads the team in on-base percentage (.505), RBIs (72), doubles (32), runs scored (74) and hits (117). Senior Chris Juarez is hitting .406 with 10 doubles and 30 RBIs. Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda is hitting .369 on the season and is second on the team in RBIs (63).
The Lobo pitching staff is led by senior Willy Kesler, who has a 3.78 ERA, is 6-3 on the season, leads the team in strikeouts with 92 and has three complete games. Junior Kenny Toves is 5-2 with a 4.55 ERA. Junior Richard Olson is 4-3 with a 4.19 ERA on the season and is second on the team with 48 strikeouts.
TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST STATISTICSThe Lobos lead the Mountain West Conference with a .350 batting average. New Mexico also leads in hits (736) and strikeout less than any team in the league. The Lobos are also ranked second in doubles (150), runs batted in (441) and runs scored (458). The Lobo pitching staff is second in the conference with a 5.36 ERA and is ranked third in strikeouts with 394.
Several Lobo hitters are making their presence known in the MWC rankings. Senior Justin Howard is on top of the Mountain West standings in batting average at a .455 clip. Howard also ranks first in runs scored (74), hits (117), doubles (32) and is ranked second in RBIs (72). Senior Chris Juarez is third in the conference with a .406 batting average. Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda is eighth in the MWC with a .369 batting average, tied for fourth with 63 RBIs, ranked third with 22 doubles and is tied for 10th with 10 home runs.
The pitching staff is just as impressive in the MWC rankings. Senior Willy Kesler is ranked fifth in the conference with a 3.78 ERA and is ranked third in the conference with 92 strikeouts. Junior Kenny Toves is ranked eighth with a 4.55 ERA. Sophomore Gera Sanchez is third in the league in saves with five.
On defense, Howard is ranked second in putouts with 529.
LOBOS IN THE NATIONAL POLLS (As of June 1)The Lobos are receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top-30 poll.
The Lobos also are ranked No. 46 in the NCAA's latest RPI rankings (June 1). The Lobos are the second-highest ranked Mountain West team. No. 15 TCU and No. 100 San Diego State are the other MWC representatives in the top 100. New Mexico has two victories over No. 5 Texas and No. 65 USC, and one win over No. 15 TCU and No. 59 Texas Tech.