April 26, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico baseball team took an early lead, but UC Irvine's offense erupted to give the Lobos an 11-6 loss Saturday afternoon at Isotopes Park. Brian Cavazos-Galvez had a team-high four hits, including his 10th home run of the season.
"They (UC Irvine) are a team with tradition. They are a team with a little more talent, obviously, than we have. They are one of the top two teams in the country in ERA," Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham said. "We have a good club and we are winning, but to separate yourself and become them, you have to have consistency in every ballplayer and do what is asked of you. That is what we don't have yet. There are some consistent guys on this club and they are the foundation. Brian is one of them. He goes out and plays outstanding defense everyday, he hits most of the time, and he hustles on the bases."
The Lobos (27-18) jumped on the board early, holding a 2-0 advantage after two innings. Ian Hollick blasted a homer to right field in the first inning and Scott Gracey provided an RBI single to score Adam Courcha in the second to give the Lobos the lead.
UC Irvine (27-10) answered back in the third, scoring two runs to knot the score. The Anteaters would take the lead, 5-2, in the fourth with a two-run homer off the bat of first baseman Josh Tavelli and an RBI single from center fielder Ollie Linton. UC Irvine dented the scoreboard again in the fifth with a four-run inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Tavelli upped the lead, 6-2, with a sacrifice fly. Dillon Bell followed one batter later with a three-run home run to pad the Anteater lead 9-2.
The Lobos chipped away at the UCI lead, plating a run in the sixth and seventh. Bobby Moore doubled to start the sixth, advanced to third on a Gracey groundout, and crossed home with a Mike Brownstein groundout. In the seventh, after UC Irvine added one earlier in the inning, Cavazos-Galvez blasted his 10th home run of the season making the score 10-4. Cavazos-Galvez had two singles and a double in addition to his round-tripper to finish the game with four hits and two RBI.
The Anteater offense wouldn't go away, however, adding a run in the top of the eighth. The Lobos responded with two in the bottom half, 11-6, with RBI hits from Matt Hibbitts and Cavazos-Galvez.
Lefty Jacob Norton (5-3) took the loss for the Lobos, lasting 4.1 innings with 10 hits and eight runs. Norton gave way to Will Kerr, who pitched three innings, surrendering seven hits and three runs before junior Drew Kendrick entered with one out in the eighth to hold the Anteaters hitless over 1.2 innings.
UC Irvine starter Bryce Stowell (5-2) earned the victory, pitching five innings of five-hit, two-run ball.
Gracey, Hibbitts, and Brownstein finished with two hits each.
The series finale is set for tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Isotopes Park. UNM's Stephen Smith (4-1) and lefty Daniel Bibona (5-1) will square-off for Youth Day, where all tickets will be $2.