May 13, 2009
Lobo Baseball (34-18, 12-8)
Games #53-55 at Air Force
Thursday, May 14 2 p.m. (MDT)
Friday, May 15 2 p.m. (MDT)
Saturday, May 16 12 p.m. (MDT)
Falcon Field U. S. Air Force Academy
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Live Stats: Gametracker available on GoLobos.com.
Against Air Force (14-34, 3-15 MWC): Air Force can play spoiler this week when it hosts UNM. The Falcons are out of contention for one of the six spots in next week's Mountain West Conference Tournament. Earlier in the season, the Lobos swept the AFA series in Albuquerque. UNM holds a 103-40 lead in the series. The Falcons' Matt Alexander currently leads the league in slugging percentage at .736.
Up Next: The Lobos head to Fort Worth, Texas, for the 2009 Conoco Mountain West Conference Baseball Tournament. UNM can finish anywhere from first to fourth in the conference standings/seedings for the tournament.
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
Step 1 - National Recognition (Check) ... The Lobos have been on the radar of the national college baseball polls, receiving votes in several throughout the season. 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.
Starting at Air Force ... The Lobos will start senior John Hesketh and freshman Rudy Jaramillo on Thursday and Friday at Air Force this week. Saturday's starter is TBD. Air Force will start senior Casey Allen, junior Alex Truesdale and senior Jake Petro.
To Finish 1st (No. 1 seed) ... The Lobos have to sweep Air Force, get Utah to take at least one game from San Diego State and have UNLV take two games from TCU. UNM, SDSU and TCU all finish the regular season on the road.
Step 2 ... Win A Conference Championship (Work In Progress) ... Quick Notes About The Lobos (34-18, 12-8 MWC) ... The Lobos are having one of the best seasons in program history at 34-18 ... 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. The group stayed together until April 28 when Hamilton left the Nebraska game with a thumb injury. Atkinson moved to 3B and Justin Howard moved from DH to 1B ... 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 were only in Albuquerque for 6 of their last 25 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 34-18 ... Next, strength of schedule. According to nationally-recognized baseball website, Boydsworld.com, the Lobos were sitting at 82 on the old SOS ranking, with a recent 77 being their highest ranking of the season ... 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 12, the Lobos are sitting at 76 after being as high as 28 going into the Northwestern series.
Brownstein and Hesketh Named to ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Team ... Seniors Mike Brownstein and John Hesketh were named to the 2009 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VI Second Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on May 7. Student-athletes must carry a 3.30 cumulative grade point average, be a starter or key reserve and be at least a sophomore athletically and academically ... Browstein is a psychology major from Tucson, Ariz., with a 3.36 grade point average ... Hesketh is an economics major from, Langley, British Columbia and is carrying a 3.45 grade point average ... Six Lobos were nominated for the 2009 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Team -- Brownstein, Hesketh, Clinton Cox, Daniel Grubbs, Dane Hamilton and Bobby Moore.
Ironman Squad ... Senior second baseman Mike Brownstein leads the Lobo Ironman squad in 2009, along with shortstop Daniel Gonzalez. Brownstein and Gonzalez have started all 52 games at the middle infield positions and have rarely been relieved in the late innings of a game. For Brownstein, this is his second season to start every game. The Tucson, Ariz. native is scheduled to start his 112th consecutive game in a Lobo uniform on Thursday at Air Force.
Others making the ironman run through the season are senior first/third baseman Kevin Atkinson and redshirt junior center fielder Max Willett. Both have played in all 52 games, with just three missed starts between the two of them. Designated hitter/left fielder Ryan Honeycutt and catcher Rafael Neda are close behind with 51 and 50 games played this season.
30-Win Season ... The Lobos earned 30 wins for the third time in four seasons on Sunday, April 19 with a 6-5 victory over No. 15 San Diego State in Albuquerque ... The most wins in a season by the Lobos is 42 in 1985 ... UNM's current 34 wins ties the 2008 win total and ranks tied for 7th in program history.
Most Wins in a Season
1. 42 - 1985 (42-17-2)
2. 41 - 1980 (41-22-0)
3. 37 - 1968 (37-13-0)
37 - 1979 (37-23-1)
5. 35 - 1993 (35-21-0)
35 - 2000 (35-21-0)
7. 34 - 1992 (34-25-1)
34 - 2003 (34-26-0)
34 - 2008 (34-25-0)
34 - 2009 (34-18-0)
11. 33 - 1982 (33-29-0)