May 16, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Sophomore Ben Woodchick went 5-for-6 with three doubles, one triple and three RBIs to lead the Lobos to a 16-5 victory over Delaware State today at Lobo Field. Senior Justin Howard went 4-for-5 and moved into second place all-time at UNM for hits in a single-season. Howard moved into second place with hit No. 107 on the season and made one step closer the all-time record of 125 with hit No. 108 in his last at-bat. The win gives New Mexico a three-game series sweep of Delaware State and improves its record to 34-17 on the season. The Hornets fall to 12-34.
"Justin Howard is another great Lobo hitter," said head coach Ray Birmingham. "Howard has faced some really good pitching along the way. Our strength of schedule has to be one of the highest in the country and he's done it off those guys."
"This is all pretty exciting," said Howard. "It's a great accomplishment but the season isn't over yet. I'm not satisfied yet. I want more and I'm going to get more."
With the game well in hand coach Birmingham made a surprise move to start the Delaware State half of the ninth inning. Making his way from the dugout was senior Adam Courcha, who wasn't heading to his usual home at second base. Courcha was headed for the mound. Courcha got DSU first basemen Abe Eubank to ground out to the shortstop and allowed one hit in his first appearance in the mound. Courcha was relieved by freshman Austin House but his day was not finished. Courcha switched gloves and headed to first base. In his four-year career Courcha has played every defensive position on the field, except first base and on the mound. Today he added the two missing pieces of the puzzle and has now played all nine positions in his Lobo career.
"Adam Courcha is a true baseball player," said Birmingham. "I feel very fortunate that I got to coach him. Not only did he play each position but he play each position well."
"That was something special for me," said Courcha. "I'm thankful to the coaching staff for letting me do that. I was a little nervous on my way out to the mound but it was fun. I had a lot of adrenaline going. It was special for me and to see my family enjoy it was good too."
The Lobos 1-5 hitters accounted for 14 runs off 15 hits. Woodchick had five hits and three RBIs and Howard had four hits with four RBIs. Junior All-America Candidate Rafael Neda went 2-for-4 with one double and three RBIs. Clean-up hitter Ryan Honeycutt went 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Five-hole hitter Chris Juarez went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Senior Max Willett also went 2-for-5 with one RBI.
The Lobos hit the road for the regular-season finale with Utah on Thursday-Saturday, May 20-22. All three games will be broadcast on 101.7 FM The TEAM. For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com.