April 1, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Junior right-hander Jason Fernandez threw his second complete game of the season and improved to 3-3 for the year as the New Mexico baseball team defeated BYU, 9-3, Thursday night at Isotopes Park. Matt Young led the Lobos with three hits and two RBI, while Ryan Barba and Joe Salas each hit homers for UNM. The Lobos improve to 4-3 in the Mountain West (8-16-1 overall) to take sole possession of third place. The Cougars fall to 3-4 in league play (13-20 overall).
Fernandez struck out five and only walked one while surrendering 10 hits in the complete game effort, the third as a staff this season for the Lobos. He also threw a complete game in UNM's 3-1 win over Arkansas Feb. 27.
BYU led 2-1 after four and a half innings, but the Lobos took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. A.J. Spitaleri scored from third on a double play before Barba blasted his third homer of the season to left field, giving UNM a 4-2 advantage.
New Mexico put the game out of reach with four runs in the seventh. After a Cougar throwing error on a pickoff play that scored Chris Dabbs from third, BYU intentionally walked Josh Mader to put runners on first and second with two outs. The only problem with the strategy was that cleanup hitter Joe Salas was on deck, and he crushed his 0-2 offering over the right-field wall for a three-run homer, his second in as many games, to put the Lobos up 8-2. Salas finished the game 2-for-4 with a run and three RBI.
The Cougars scored their final run in the eighth on a run-scoring double, but the Lobos answered right back with an insurance run in the bottom half of inning on a Young RBI single that plated Garrick Haymore.
UNM collected 11 hits in the contest, with eight starters having at least one hit. Dabbs scored a team-high three runs for the third time this season.
BYU lefty Patrick Wells (4-3) took the loss after giving up eight runs and 10 hits in 6.2 innings of work.
New Mexico and BYU will resume its three-game series tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at Isotopes Park. The series concludes with "Youth Day" on Saturday, as all tickets are only $2.