Nov. 7, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- Seniors Justin Howard and Daniel Gonzalez combined for five RBI in a 7-4 Cherry victory in the series finale of the annual Cherry-Silver series Saturday afternoon at Isotopes Park. The Cherry team, who clinched the series early with a 3-0 sweep, finished with a record of 4-1 while Silver, picking up just one win on Friday, finished 1-4.
Top hitters for the series included Cherry's Chris Juarez (11-for-18, eight RBI), Howard (11-for-18, six RBI) and John Twichell (8-for-17, seven RBI) with Gonzalez leading the way with nine RBI. The Silver side was paced by Adam Courcha (9-for-18, four doubles, six RBI), Rafael Neda (two home runs, seven RBI) and Kenny Held (8-for-17, four RBI).
On Saturday, Cherry snatched a 3-0 lead in the first inning, opening the frame with two straight hits from sophomore Ben Woodchick and Howard. Howard's double to left center was misplayed allowing Woodchick to score for a 1-0 early lead. After Mitchell Garver worked a walk, Gonzalez roped a two-out triple to push across two more and make it 3-0 Cherry. Howard, who led the Cherry charge with three hits, picked up his second double in the top of the fourth to plate Woodchick to up the advantage to 4-0.
Silver stormed back to tie it, however, starting with a solo home run from Horn, his second in as many days, in the top of the fifth to cut into the lead at 4-1. In the seventh, Silver added three to establish the deadlock, starting with a two-out error to score Courcha, who doubled earlier in the frame. Orrin Sears, who reached first on a fielder's choice, was cashed in with a two-run blast from junior Neda that created the 4-4 tie.
Cherry took the lead again and for good with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Howard singled through the right side and scored on a Juarez single to start the scoring. Juarez came home via a sacrifice fly from Max Willett and Twichell cashed in Garver, who was issued his second free pass two batters earlier, with a single to make it Cherry 7-4, a score that would last over two more innings.
Cherry starter Willy Kesler led a slew of Lobo pitchers on the day, working three innings with no runs or walks and just three hits. Cherry also received an inning of scoreless relief from Steven Florez, Edwin Carl, Eric Baalman and Jacob Nelson.
The 2010 edition of Lobo Baseball opens its regular season on Feb. 19, 2010, at Big 12 powerhouse and College World Series runner-up Texas with the first Lobo home game on Feb. 26, 2010, against Northern Colorado.