March 31, 2004
NEXT IN LOBO BASEBALL
BYU Cougars (13-19, 3-3 MWC) at New Mexico Lobos (7-16-1, 3-3)
ALL GAMES AT ISOTOPES PARK (11,124) * ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
Thursday, April 1 * 6 p.m. Friday, April 2 * 6 p.m.. Saturday, April 3 * 12 p.m. - "Youth Day"
RADIO: All games broadcast on KDEF 1150 AM and www.GoLobos.com with Henry Tafoya and Dan Rivera calling the action
LIVE STATS: Live stats available at www.GoLobos.com
SERIES INFORMATION: BYU leads the all-time series, 58-36. The Cougars won four of seven games in 2003 against UNM.
Saturday, April 3 * "Youth Day" *All tickets $2
There will be inflatables along with a radio station playing music and handing out prizes in the parking lot outside Isotopes Park before the game. Raffles of Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and NCAA items will take place during the game.
Individual game tickets will be on sale prior to each game. Thursday/Friday: Adults - $6; Seniors - $4; Youth - $3. For more information, call 925-LOBO or check www.GoLobos.com.
PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION:
Friday: BYU: #4 LH Jr. Patrick Wells (4-2, 4.76 ERA, 36 K, 58.2 IP, OBA - .283) vs. UNM: #28 RH Jr. Jason Fernandez (2-3, 4.64 ERA, 20 K, 33.0 IP, OBA - .267)
Saturday: BYU: #15 RH Sr. Paul Jacinto (0-6, 6.32 ERA, 42 K, 57.0 IP, OBA - .307) vs. UNM: #2 LH Fr. Danny Ray Herrera (1-4, 5.24 ERA, 20 K, 34.1 IP, OBA - .281)
Sunday: BYU: #27 RH So. Justin Su'a (2-1, 4.41 ERA, 37 K, 49.0 IP, OBA - .312) vs. UNM: #20 RH Jr. Cooper Eddy (2-2, 4.79 ERA, 28 K, 33.0 IP, OBA - .322)
STORYLINE: New Mexico (7-16-1) returns to conference play this weekend against BYU (13-19) after defeating New Mexico State, 17-13, Tuesday night at Isotopes Park. The Lobos and Cougars are tied for third in the Mountain West standings with a 3-3 record, and will look to break their deadlock with a three-game series.
"Youth Day" will be held this Saturday, April 3 at Isotopes Park. There will be raffles on Major League Baseball items, and all tickets are only two dollars.
Thursday and Friday's games will start at 6 p.m., while Saturday is set for 12 p.m. The UNM Athletic Department is sponsoring "Youth Day" on Saturday, as all tickets are only $2. There will be inflatables in the parking lot prior to the game along with raffles on Major League Baseball items during the game.
NOTES FROM THE NEW MEXICO STATE GAME: The Lobos scored a season-high 17 runs and hit a season-high 16 RBI while collecting 15 hits in Tuesday night's 17-13 win over New Mexico State at Isotopes Park...the Aggies, who were ranked No. 31 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, fall to 22-8-1 on the season...UNM scored a season-high 10 runs in the sixth inning on only four hits...the Lobos overcame a 9-3 deficit for their biggest comeback win of the year...five of the seven Lobo wins this season have arrived in comeback fashion...Matt Young tied a career high with four hits, including a two-run homer, a two-run triple, and a two-run single...he also had a career-high six RBI...Joe Salas tied a career-high with five RBI and hit a grand slam...Josh Mader collected his 200th career hit and went 3-for-6 with two runs...Jeff Grady hit his team-leading fourth homer of the season...NMSU's Billy Becher went 3-for-6 with six RBI and a homer, his 17th of the year...the Aggies and Lobos each used six pitchers in the game...Darren Coltrinari walked away with his first victory of the year after pitching two innings of relief...the Lobo pitching staff walked 13 batters.
DON'T LEAVE FOR THE BALLPARK WITHOUT THEM - CAN'T MISS NOTES:
* Sixteen of the Lobos' first 24 games have come against teams with a winning record, and nine of those games were against teams either ranked in the Top 25 or receiving votes in the national polls. As of March 29, Texas A&M is ranked No. 9 in the country, while Nebraska is ranked 19th. Arkansas, Texas Tech and New Mexico State are receiving votes. UNM's schedule is currently rated the 37th-toughest in the nation.
*The Lobos have won six of their last nine games at Isotopes Park. After getting off to a tough start at "The Reactor" with a 0-7-1 record in the first eight games, UNM is now 6-10-1 all-time in its new home.
* The Lobos' first 12 conference games are at home...11 of UNM's 15 games in March are at home...UNM will play only four of 17 games at home in April.
*The Lobos are batting .333 in their last eight games with 74 runs (9.25 per game) and 97 hits (12.13 per game)...they scored a season-high 17 runs in Tuesday's 17-13 win over New Mexico State.
GET OUT THOSE BINOCULARS - LOBOS TO WATCH:
* Junior centerfielder and leadoff hitter Matt Young is the team's offensive spark. Young leads the team in runs (26) and on-base percentage (.436), and is second in batting (.351). He went 4-for-6 with a career-high six RBI in Tuesday's win over NMSU. His five triples this season already establish a career high and is tied for tops in the Mountain West.
* Junior shortstop Josh Mader, the team's No. 3 hitter, leads the team in batting (.368, fifth in Mountain West) and is tied for the team-lead in RBI (18). Mader tied a career high with four hits at New Mexico State March 24 and had a season-high four RBI in last Saturday's win over SDSU. He is batting .486 (18-for-37) in his last seven games with 13 RBI.
* Senior Joe Salas tied a career-high with five RBI in the win over NMSU, including a grand slam in the sixth inning which gave the Lobos the lead for good. He also struck out the final two batters of the game to close out the win for UNM.
* Josh Mader collected his 200th career hit in Tuesday's win against NMSU. He now has 202 for his career.
*Matt Young is 16 walks away from being second all-time in the UNM record books (currently: 111) and 12 hits away from 200 for his career.
*Joe Salas is one home run away from tying fourth all-time at UNM (currently: 28)
LAST TIME OUT - NEW MEXICO STATE RECAP: The New Mexico baseball team used a 10-run sixth inning to rally from a 9-3 deficit and defeat New Mexico State, 17-13, Tuesday night (March 30) at Isotopes Park. Junior Matt Young led the Lobos by going 4-for-6, including a career-high six RBI, a two-run homer and a two-run triple. The game, which lasted over three and a half hours, featured five homers, 12 pitchers, 26 hits and 30 runs.
Down 9-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Lobos (7-16-1) exploded for 10 runs on four hits and two costly Aggie errors. Young drove in the first runs of the inning with a two-run single to make it 9-5. The Lobos then took advantage of an error by Aggie third baseman Adrian Ballesteros - his first of the season - that brought home Ryan Barba. UNM took the lead for good on a Joe Salas grand slam that was belted deep to center field, giving the Lobos a 10-9 advantage. After another Ballesteros error that should have ended the inning, Jeff Grady stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second, and made the Aggies pay as he hit team-leading fourth homer of the season. The three-run shot made it 13-9 in favor of UNM.
NMSU (22-8-1) bounced back, cutting the lead to 13-12 on Billy Becher's three-run homer in the top of the seventh, his 17th dinger of the season. The Aggies wouldn't get any closer however, as Sean Murray doubled down the left-field line in the bottom of the inning to drive in two more UNM runs.
The slugfest continued as NMSU's Emory Davies hit his sixth tater of the season in the eighth, but once again the Lobos answered, this time on Young's two-run homer to center.
Darren Coltrinari (1-1) earned his first win of the season by pitching two innings of relief. Brian Gausman (4-2) took the loss for the Aggies.
New Mexico State built an early lead with four runs in the top of the first. Salas drove in a run in the second, but the Aggies scored two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to take the 9-3 lead. Young hit his two-run triple in the fourth for the Lobos.
WEEKEND UPDATE - NOTES FROM THE SAN DIEGO STATE SERIES: The Aztecs took two of three games in the series last weekend (March 26-28) at Isotopes Park to improve to 5-1 in MWC play...the Lobos fell to 3-3 in the Mountain West...SDSU won on Friday, 4-3, and had 21 hits in Sunday's 11-9 victory...UNM set a school record with 5,671 fans showing up in Saturday's 13-7 win...the Lobos scored 13 runs to go along with 14 hits in the game...Sean Murray batted .500 (7-for-14) in the series with four runs and four RBI...Freshman starter Danny Ray Herrera earned his first collegiate victory in Saturday's win...San Diego State's Brock Ungricht went 9-for-14 in the series (.643) with eight RBI.
LOBOS DELIVER SCHOOL-RECORD CROWD ON "PACK THE PARK" NIGHT MARCH 27: The Lobos set a UNM baseball single-game attendance record when 5,671 fans showed up for "Pack the Park" night on March 27. New Mexico put on a show for the fans, scoring 13 runs to go along with 14 hits in the 13-7 win over San Diego State. The game was followed by a fireworks extravaganza.
UNM's previous high was 5,430, set on April 28, 2001, vs. Air Force. The Lobos are averaging 1,208 fans a game this season at Isotopes Park.
ON DECK: The Lobos travel to No. 19 Nebraska for two games April 5-6. UNM then resumes Mountain West play with a three-game set at Utah April 8-10. Nineteen of the Lobos' next 20 games are on the road.
AROUND THE HORN -
OFFENSIVELY: The Lobos, traditionally a powerful offense force, are starting to heat up at the plate after struggling in their first 16 games. UNM is batting .333 with 74 runs (9.25 per game) and 97 hits (12.13 per game) in its last eight games, including a season-high 17 runs vs. New Mexico State March 30. Overall, the Lobos are batting .285 with 18 homers and 139 runs (5.79 per game). In conference play, UNM is hitting .313 as a team.
DEFENSIVELY: The Lobos have commited 37 errors for a .959 fielding percentage (opponents - 29 E, .968 pct.), which is fifth best in the Mountain West. The Lobo collected four errors in the San Diego State series but only one against the Aggies. The Lobos are second in the league in fielding double plays.
PITCHING: Opponents are batting .298 against UNM pitching and have scored 182 runs (7.58 per game). UNM's staff ERA is 6.61 (fourth in the MWC) compared to opponents' 5.01. The staggering difference is the walk-to-strikeout ratio (UNM - 161 K, 122 BB; Opponents - 154 K, 73 BB). The starter's ERA is 5.59 compared to the bullpen's 8.26.
PLAYER NOTES -
A GLANCE AT THE LOBO STARTING PITCHERS: The Lobos will use the same rotation this weekend as the previous two conference series. Jason Fernandez will throw Thursday, Danny Ray Herrera on Friday and Cooper Eddy on Saturday.
GM. 1 - Thursday - 6 p.m. - #28 RH Jr. Jason Fernandez (2-3, 4.64 ERA)
* Hard-throwing right-hander will be making his fifth start of the season...has also made three appearances out of the bullpen
* Leads team with a 4.64 ERA...third in innings pitched (33.0).
*Opponents are batting .236 against him in league play, which is sixth best in the Mountain West
GM. 2 - Friday - 6 p.m. - #2 LH Fr. Danny Ray Herrera (1-4, 5.24 ERA)
* Keeps hitters off balance with off-speed pitches, including an excellent changeup
* Impressive in his first four starts against top-notch competition (Nebraska, Texas A&M and UC Santa Barbara, TCU)
*Picked up first collegiate victory with win over San Diego State (3/27)
* In front of over 7,000 fans at Olsen Field against Texas A&M on Feb. 27, he threw seven innings, struck out five, and didn't allow an earned run (two unearned) in a tough loss
GM. 3 - Sunday - 12 p.m. - Jr. RH #20 Cooper Eddy (2-2, 4.79 ERA)
* Powerful pitcher who throws in the low 90's and has an excellent slider
* Transfer from Tennessee Tech; threw his first year at Iowa Western Community College
* Leads team in strikeouts (28) and innings (35.2)
*2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in his last four starts
* Lost his first two starts against Kent State (2/20) and Arkansas (2/29)
* Pitched six strong innings vs. Arkansas, giving up three runs on eight hits and six strikeouts
* Earned Mountain West Pitcher of the Week honors after firing a seven-hit complete game in win over UC Santa Barbara on March 7; he struck out seven and only walked one
* Threw seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball in win over Texas Tech (3/16) to earn MWC Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time this season.
PUT ME IN COACH - YOUNG IN CENTER FIELD: Junior Matt Young is the starting center fielder this season for the Lobos after two years in left. Young, the team's leadoff hitter and offensive spark, is UNM's leader in runs (26) and on-base percentage (.436), and his five triples this season already establishes a career-high and is tied for tops in the MWC.
The fiery and competitive Young, who is batting .351, went 4-for-6 with a career-high six RBI in UNM's win over New Mexico State March 30. He knocked in two runs each with a single, a triple and a homer, and was only a double shy away from the cycle.
Young was named the Mountain West Player of the Week Feb. 23 after an impressive opening weekend at the Baseball Fiesta Tournament in which he went 6-for-11 with two triples, four RBI and six runs. Young was also named to the Aggie Classic All-Tournament Team.
A dynamic defensive player, Young is one of seven players in the Mountain West to own a perfect fielding percentage and has made some spectacular plays in center field this season. The Murphy, Texas, native put together a .466 on-base percentage and led the MWC in walks (54) and runs (76) in 2003 while batting .320. Young is third all-time in the UNM record books with 111 career walks.
MADER RETURNS TO NATURAL POSITION: After playing two years at third base, junior Josh Mader finally returns to his natural position at shortstop this season following the departure of All-American Dusty Young.
Mader, a 2003 first-team All-MWC selection, polished his game over the summer playing shortstop in the Alaskan Summer Wooden Bat League. A lifetime .371 batter, Mader leads the team with a .368 batting average (fifth in Mountain West) and 18 RBI. Over his past eight games, Mader is batting .486 (18-for-37) with 13 RBI, including four hits at New Mexico State March 24 and four RBI vs. San Diego State March 27. He is hitting .400 with nine RBI in Mountain West games.
CAPTAIN PROVING HIS WORTH: Senior right-fielder Sean Murray, one of two co-captains on this year's team, is fourth on the team with 16 RBI after an impressive series against San Diego State. Murray went 7-for-14 in the series with four RBI and four runs. A career .341 hitter, Murray has started at first base, left field and right field for the Lobos this season.
BARBA SOLID AT SECOND: Sophomore Ryan Barba has put together another productive offensive season from second base, typically a non-power position. Barba is batting .304 with two homers and 12 RBI to go along with five doubles.
He tied his career high with a five RBI performance in UNM's 6-3 win over UCSB on March 7. Barba hit a grand slam in the eighth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie to propel the Lobos to victory. He hit his second homer of the season March 28 vs. San Diego State. Defensively, he is tied for second in the conference with teammate Josh Mader in double plays turned with 17.
Barba is also second on the team in runs with 16. He earned all-tournament honors at the Aggie Classic with a .368 average in the six games. A native of Van Nuys, Calif., Barba earned the starting spot at second at the end of his freshman season with his strong bat (.366 BA).
SALAS SPELLS R-E-L-I-E-F: Senior lefty Joe Salas has always possessed an explosive bat in his career at UNM, but this season he is focusing more on being the Lobo closer. Salas has two saves this season and eight for his career, which is tied for fourth all-time in New Mexico history. He is first in the league with 16 appearances.
Offensively, he broke out last year with 16 homers and 56 RBI in addition to a .366 batting average to earn first-team All-MWC honors. The primary designated hitter in the lineup, he hit his first homer of the season at New Mexico State March 24, giving him 27 for his career. Salas is batting .304 with five RBI in conference play.
The Albquerque native had a coming out party in his last game against archrival New Mexico State, going 2-for-4 with a career-tying five RBI and a run scored. With the Lobos down 9-6, Salas belted a grand slam to deep center, giving the Lobos the lead for good in the 17-13 victory.
FERNANDEZ PROVIDING CONSISTENCY ON THE MOUND: Right-hander Jason Fernandez is 2-3 on the mound this season, but has looked very impressive at times.
The junior was named the MWC Pitcher of the Week March 1 after firing a six-hit complete game in UNM's 3-1 win over Arkansas Feb. 27. Fernadez limited the Razorbacks, who were previously undefeated and ranked No. 28 in the Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches Poll, to one run and only eight base runners. He took the loss in his next start against UCSB, but responded with a solid seven-inning effort in a win over Utah March 19, including a season-high six strikeouts.
HOT BAT AT THE HOT CORNER: Freshman Daniel Stovall is batting .301 with two homers and six RBI this season. He has started at first base in 10 of the last 12 games after playing at third base at the beginning of the year.
Stovall hit his first career homer Feb. 28 vs. Arkansas and followed it with another shot the same day against Texas A&M. The powerful hitter also blasted two doubles in his first collegiate start vs. No. 23 Nebraska.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - BYU COUGARS (13-19, 3-3 MWC)
BYU comes to Albuquerque with a 13-19 overall mark, 3-3 in Mountain West action. The Cougars swept Utah in Salt Lake City last weekend. BYU won the second game, 5-4, in 17 innings, which was the longest game in Mountain West history. The Cougars also claimed 13-3 and 11-10 victories.
Kory Knell leads the Cougars with a .292 batting average, while Brandon Taylor leads the team with six homers and 23 RBI.
On the mound, Joshua Barrett and Nick Lemon have 1.42 and 1.72 ERA's, respectively. Patrick Wells, who will start on Friday, brings a record of 4-2 with a 4.76 ERA.
HEAD COACH: Vance Law. Overall record: 141-125-1 (5th year). Record at BYU: Same.
SERIES NOTES: BYU leads, 58-36. The Cougars took four of seven games against the Lobos last season.
UNM Streak: Lost three
Last meeting: BYU 7, New Mexico 6 (MWC Tournament, May 21, 2003 in Albuquerque)
Last UNM win: New Mexico 6, BYU 5 (April 17, 2003 in Provo)
Coach Alday vs. BYU: 28-42 (Home: 18-19; Away: 8-21; Neutral: 2-2)
LOBOS VS. BYU: Joe Salas is batting .348 (23-for-66) in 18 games against the Cougars with 18 RBI...Josh Mader is hitting .350 in 13 games against BYU with two homers and 13 RBI...Jeff Grady has seven hits, two homers and seven RBI in six games vs. BYU.