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Lobo Baseball Starts Five-Game Homestand with Coppin State
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/15/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 15, 2010

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team will host Coppin State this weekend for a three-game series. The Lobos (21-13, 8-4 MWC) gave No. 9/8 Arkansas all it could handle in a two-game series this past Tuesday and Wednesday in Fayetteville. The Lobos lost two one-run games that could have gone either way. As part of a five-game homestand, the Lobos host Coppin State (11-17, 5-3 MEAC) on Friday-Sunday. Sunday's game will be played at Lobo Field. First pitch for all three games is scheduled for 12 p.m. MT. Friday's game will be broadcast live on 101.7 FM The TEAM. Scott Galetti and Rick Ronquillo will call the action live from Isotopes Park.

The Lobos host San Francisco in a two-game mid-week series next Tuesday and Wednesday at Isotopes Park. Tuesday's game will be broadcast live on 101.7 FM The TEAM.

SCOUTING COPPIN STATE

• The Eagles are 11-17 on the season, 4-6 in their last 10 games and 3-11 on the road.

• Coppin State is coached by Mike Scolinos, who is in his second year coaching the Eagles with an 11-46 (.193) record. Coach Scolinos has 17 total years of head coaching experience and is 291-267 (.521) all-time.

• The Eagles return four players with starting experience, six letterwinners and four starting pitchers from last year's squad.

• Coppin State is led at the plate by senior first baseman Harry Williams, who is hitting .419 on the season. Williams has two home runs, 10 doubles, one triple and 26 RBIs.

• The Eagles are hitting .290 as a team.

• Coppin State is led on the mound by sophomore right-hander Tim Pomierski, who is 4-2 on the season and has an ERA of 4.30. He has pitched 44.0 innings and has 33 strikeouts.

• The Eagles have a 7.49 team ERA.

• The Lobos will likely face Pomierski on Friday, junior right-hander Jim Vagnier on Saturday and junior right-hander John Bergwall on Sunday. Vagnier is 2-4 on the season with a 4.31 ERA. He has 31 strikeouts and 33 walks. Bergwall is 1-0 on the season with a 7.15 ERA.

SERIES HISTORY

This will be the first meeting between the two programs.

IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS (as of April 11)

As a team the Lobos rank 15th in the nation in doubles (86) and 18th in hits with 401. New Mexico also is ranked 14th in the NCAA with a .346 batting average. The Lobos are tied for 36th in the nation with 12 triples on the season.

Senior Justin Howard is ranked 11th in the nation with 58 hits, No. 79 with a .414 batting average and tied for 35th with 14 doubles. Senior Chris Juarez is tied at No. 79 with Howard with a .414 batting average.

Sophomore Gera Sanchez is tied for 41st in the NCAA with five saves.

COURCHA LEADS THE WAY IN FAYETTEVILLE

Senior Adam Courcha went 3-for-7 (.429) with three RBIs to lead the Lobos at the plate against No. 9/8 Arkansas. The Lobo pitching staff held Arkansas to its lowest run total in the last ten games. Arkansas was averaging 13.3 runs per game over its last ten contests. The Lobos held the Razorbacks to nine runs in a two-game span. In Tuesday night's game, the Lobos got nine hits off a pitching staff that is ranked No. 24 in the NCAA for giving up 8.77 hits per game.

SANCHEZ NAMED TO MIDSEASON WATCH LIST FOR NCBWA STOPPER OF THE YEAR

Sophomore Gera Sanchez was named to the NCBWA Midseason Watch List for the 2010 Stopper of the Year Award. Sanchez is one of 45 players to be named to the list for the best closer in college baseball. Sanchez is 2-2 on the year with a 3.32 ERA. He leads the Mountain West Conference and is ranked 41st in the NCAA with five saves.

NEDA NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda has been named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week as announced by the conference office. Neda went 6-for-11, hitting .545 in a three-game series against conference foe BYU on Apirl 8-10. Neda had six RBIs, three runs scored and two tape-measure home runs. Both home runs were in game three's 10-9 victory.

LOBOS ON BACK ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST STANDINGS

The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team is back in first place with an 8-4 record after taking two of three from conference foe BYU this past weekend. The Lobos are 7-2 in their last nine MWC games and are currently receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches top-25 poll. New Mexico is 21-13 on the season.

LEADERS OF THE PACK

Seniors Justin Howard and Chris Juarez lead the Lobos in batting average at a .393 clip. Howard also leads the team in on-base percentage (.450), doubles (14), runs scored (35) and hits (59). All-America candidate Rafael Neda is hitting .361 on the season and leads the team in RBIs (34).

The Lobo pitching staff is led by junior Richard Olson, who has an ERA of 3.32 and is 3-2 on the season. Olson is second on the team with 42 strikeouts. Junior Kenny Toves is 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA. Senior Willy Kesler has a 4.86 ERA, is 2-1 on the season and leads the team in strikeouts with 47.

TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST STATISTICS

The Lobos lead the Mountain West Conference with a .338 batting average and in doubles with 91. The Lobo pitching staff is fourth in the conference with a 5.65 ERA and leads the MWC in strikeouts with 251.

Several Lobo hitters are making their presence known in the MWC rankings. Seniors Chris Juarez and Justin Howard are ranked third and fourth, respectively with a .393 batting average. Howard is ranked eighth in on-base percentage (.450). Senior Cameron Smith ranks ninth in the conference with a .370 batting average. Howard is tied for the lead in the league in doubles with 14 and junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda and senior Cameron Smith are tied for seventh with 12. Neda is ranked fifth in RBIs with 34. Howard is tied for eighth with 32 RBIs.

The pitching staff is just as impressive in the MWC rankings. Junior Richard Olson is ranked eighth in the conference with a 3.32 ERA and junior Kenny Toves is ranked tenth with a 3.35 ERA. Olson also is ranked fifth in the conference with 42 strikeouts. Senior Willy Kesler is ranked third in the conference with 47 strikeouts. Senior Edwin Carl is tied for fourth in the league with 15 batters stuck out looking. Sophomore Gera Sanchez is tied for the league lead in saves with five.

On defense, Howard is ranked first in putouts with 296.

LOBOS IN THE NATIONAL POLLS

The Lobos are receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top-30 poll and the USA Today Coaches top-25 poll.

The Lobos are also ranked No. 24 in boydsworld.com's RPI index. The Lobos are the second-highest ranked Mountain West team. No. 22 TCU, joins New Mexico as the only two MWC teams in the top-100. The Lobos have two victories over No. 8 Texas, No. 71 New Mexico State and No. 73 USC. The Lobos face two more teams this season in the top-100, , TCU (22) and Texas Tech (42).

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