March 16, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico baseball team combined 16 hits and a solid start by junior Willy Kesler to earn its first Mountain West Conference victory of the season on a gusty Sunday afternoon at Isotopes Park. Freshman catcher Rafael Neda went 3-for-4, blasting two home runs and collecting four RBIs.
The Lobos scored in the first six innings and hit four home runs to improve to 9-8 overall and 1-2 in the MWC.
Kesler (4-0) quieted the Rebel offense, holding them to only three runs and nine hits in seven innings. He retired eight Rebels in a row to end his outing on Sunday.
The Lobo offense took an early 4-3 lead courtesy of a solo shot by Neda and a two-run homer for second baseman Mike Brownstein. The Lobos would plate two more runs in the third before Neda mashed a three-run shot to left field in the fourth, scoring Bobby Moore and Matt Hibbitts. First baseman Kevin Atkinson would follow with a long ball to deep center two batters later to put the Lobos up, 10-3.
Brownstein and Moore hit back-to-back doubles in the fifth and the Lobos added a run in the sixth to take a commanding 12-3 lead.
Junior Clinton Cox closed out the game for the Lobos, allowing only one hit over two innings. UNLV's Steve Rinaudo (0-1) took the loss for the Rebels, going 2.1 innings with five earned runs on eight hits.
Moore finished the game 3-for-3 and batted .800 for the series, with three doubles, two triples, and three RBIs. Brownstein contributed three hits and two RBIs and eight of eleven Lobo batters had RBIs.
The Lobos will duel in-state rival New Mexico State in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 18 in Las Cruces. The two-game affair begins at 2:05 p.m.