May 16, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico baseball team continued to put the heat on UNLV in the Mountain West title race Sunday afternoon with a 16-6 thrashing of Air Force in seven innings at Isotopes Park. Both head coaches agreed to a 10-run rule after seven innings during the game.
The Lobos, now 18-9 in the Mountain West, trail only UNLV (19-8) in the MWC standings. The Lobos and Rebels will meet in a three-game series next weekend (Thursday, May 20 - Saturday, May 22) at Isotopes Park to decide the league title; all games will begin at 12 p.m.
A day after scoring 20 runs, the Lobos (22-25-1) again put on an offensive display for the students in attendence on "Pen Pal Day" at the ballpark. Joe Salas and Daniel Stovall hit back-to-back homers in the second inning, and accomplished the same feat in the six-run fifth inning. Salas finished the day 3-for-4 with three runs and four RBI - he also had a run-scoring triple - while Stovall went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. Matt Foote also had a nice day at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
New Mexico jumped out to a 4-0 lead after a four-run second, but Air Force (5-41, 0-22 MWC) climbed back into the game with an RBI triple and solo homer in the third. The Lobos responded with run-scoring hits by Salas and Stovall in the bottom of the third, and added a single run in the fourth on a bizarre inning-ending triple play. With the bases loaded and the infield playing in, A.J. Spitaleri hit a grounder to Falcon shortstop Nathan DeRohan, who tagged second and threw to first for the second out. After Ryan Barba scored from third on the play, Foote tried to score from second, but was thrown out at home for the triple play.
UNM put the game away with six runs in the fifth to make it 13-2.
The Falcons plated four runs in the sixth, but the Lobos put the 10-run rule back into effect with three runs in the seventh.
Cooper Eddy (5-4) scattered five hits and allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings of work while fanning five for the Lobos. Clayton Couch (2-6) allowed 12 runs and 15 hits in the loss.
The Lobos return to action Tuesday, May 18 against No. 14 Arizona State. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Isotopes Park. The game will be broadcast on KDEF 1150 AM and www.GoLobos.com.