May 9, 2006
NEW MEXICO VS. TEXAS TECH, THE SERIES: The Lobos and the Red Raiders have already met three times this year, resulting in an 8-7 loss in 10 innings on Valentine's Day at Isotopes Park, a 14-7 loss at Dan Law Field in Lubbock on April 11 and a 6-4 loss at Law Field on April 25.
Texas Tech holds a 50-30-1 series lead over New Mexico, winning seven in a row and ten of the last 13. Of the last 13 however, only three have been played in Albuquerque, with the Lobos winning two (4-1, 3/16/04 and 13-11, 4/15/03). The last time New Mexico won in Lubbock was Feb. 2, 2003, 9-6. For the series, Texas Tech is 32-16-1 in Albuquerque and 36-14 in Lubbock.
SCOUTING THE RED RAIDERS: Texas Tech is 27-20-1 overall, having lost three in a row and six of its last seven. The one win in its last seven games came over the Lobos. The Red Raiders are 4-9 on the road, hitting .320 overall with a 4.79 ERA and .964 fielding percentage.
All of TTU's starters are hitting over .300, led by Matt Smith's .376 average. Roger Kieschnick is leading the team in almost every other offensive category, including runs (48), hits (72), doubles (14) and RBI (51). Brian Capps (.373) has a team-high three triples, Tyler Reves (.314) has a team-high nine home runs and Willie Rueda (.307) leads the team in walks (16) and stolen bases (17).
Miles Morgan has led the talented Texas Tech pitching staff. He is 5-5 with a 3.58 ERA, starting 14 games and throwing three of the team's four complete games. Morgan has struck out 91 batters and walked just 23 in 88 innings. Colt Hynes (4-2, 3.53 ERA), Josh Tomlin (1-3, 4.18 ERA) and AJ Ramos (1-2, 5.61 ERA) have all made seven starts for the Red Raider. Randy Gattis has been the reliever TTU relies on, going 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 appearances. With a team-high three saves, Gattis has struck out 21 and walked just five in 23.1 innings.
IN THE NATION: Once again, the Lobos are one of the best teams in the nation statistically. Through May 7, New Mexico leads the nation in double plays, turning 63 total for a 1.31 per game average. The Lobos are tenth in runs per game, averaging 8.7. UNM is also ranked in slugging percentage (.501, 13th), home runs per game (1.21, 15th), doubles per game (2.27, 16th), fielding percentage (.971, 26th) and batting average (.319, 29th).
Individually, the Lobos are thriving as well. Junior first baseman/designated hitter Chris Carlson is ranked in the most categories for New Mexico. Carlson is fifth in home runs (0.40 pg), 12th in RBI (1.35 pg) and 34th in slugging percentage (.699). Junior first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Stovall makes the list in two spots, 13th in doubles (0.44 pg) and 17th in RBI (1.31 pg). Sophomore second baseman Jordan Pacheco also appears twice, fourth in the nation in runs per game (1.38) and 35th in doubles (0.4). Junior Danny Ray Herrera places in the top-50 twice, 11th in victories (9) and 48th in ERA (2.26). Junior center fielder Matt Foote is tied 26th in times hit by a pitch (0.35 pg) and junior left fielder Jay Russell is tied 28th in sacrifice hits (0.26 pg).
ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: The Lobos are 28-20 overall, which is the best record in the Mountain West Conference to date. TCU is 28-21 and leads the conference standings at 14-5. New Mexico is 10-6 in the MWC, which is the third best, trailing the Horned Frogs by 2.5 games and San Diego State (20-31, 13-6 MWC) by 1.5.
UNM is the top fielding team in the conference with a percentage of .971. They Lobos lead the conference in assists (591) and double plays. They have turned 63 double plays, which is 16 more than any other school in the MWC. The Lobos also lead the conference in batting average (.319), slugging percentage (.501), on base percentage (.402), runs (417), hits (558), RBI (392), doubles (109), triples (17), home runs (58), total bases (875), hit by pitch (60) and wins (28).
Individually, the Lobos are dominating all the categories. New Mexico has at least two ranked in the top-10 in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBIs, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases, walks, sac bunts and sac flies, total plate appearances, at bats, steal attempts, strikeouts and times hit by a pitch. Junior Chris Carlson places the most offensively for the Lobos, ranking in batting average (.342, 10th), slugging percentage (.699, 3rd), runs scored (48, 5th), hits (67, T5th), RBI (65, 1st), home runs (19, 1st), total bases (137, 1st), sacrifice flies (8, 1st), total plate appearances (236, 4th), at bats (196, 6th), strikeouts (40, T4th) and times grounded into double plays (8, 1st).
Junior Danny Ray Herrera has etched his name throughout the pitching categories, holding the lowest ERA (2.26), most innings pitched (111.1) and most games started (14) for pitchers who average at least 1 inning per game. Herrera is also in the top-10 in opposing batting average (.232, 2nd), stikeouts (87, 5th), strikeouts looking (19, T7th), wins (9, 2nd), fewest earned runs allowed (28, 5th), fewest runs allowed (32, 3rd), fewest doubles allowed (10, 4th), fewest triples allowed 3, T9th) and fewest walks allowed (25, 8th).
The fielders are just as strong individually, leading the conference in two of the six categories. Junior first basemen Daniel Stovall has turned a league-high 45 double plays. Stovall is second in putouts (378), fourth in chances (392) and seventh in fielding percentage (.995). Junior center fielder Matt Foote holds a perfect fielding percentage to tie for the conference lead. Senior shortstop Ryan Barba is second in the conference in assists (164) and fielding double plays (43) while sophomore second baseman Jordan Pacheco is tied with Barba is fielding double plays and is fourth in assists (157). Sophomore catcher Drew McDonald is 10th in putouts (191).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH: Junior Danny Ray Herrera is one of 10 finalists in the CSTV Player of the Year race. Currently Herrera, who is one of seven pitchers on the list, is in eighth place with 18 votes. Keep track of the race on the Lobos' official website: www.GoLobos.com.
IF I WAS A GAMBLING MAN: If I was a gambler, here is who I would be betting on:
When the Lobos are facing a left handed pitcher, freshman Zach Arnett has had the most success, going 4-for-6 with two RBI. Junior Chris Carlson has driven in the most runs vs. lefties, with 16, including a team-high six home runs for a .429 batting average. Sophomore Jordan Pacheco has the most hits off of southpaws, going 17-for-40, hitting .425.
Against righties, sophomore Ian Hollick has the best average, hitting .384. Junior Daniel Stovall has a team high 57 hits and 47 RBI with a .326 average.
Pacheco leads off an inning in every game as New Mexico's first hitter. He has a .355 average when leading off an inning on a team-high 27 hits. However, Stovall has the best average as a leadoff hitter, going 13-for-35 (.371).
When it comes to runners on base, I would want junior Jay Russell, Carlson or Stovall at the plate. Russell has the best average (.446) while Stovall has a team-high 43 hits, 58 RBI and 17 doubles. Carlson has homered 11 times with runners on. With two outs and runners on base, freshman Dane Hamilton holds a .529 batting average, Hollick and Stovall lead the team in hits (18) and Stovall tops the team in RBI (27). With the bases loaded bet heavily on Hamilton or Stovall, who are hitting .667 (2-for-3 with four RBI) and .636 (7-for-11 iwth 16 RBI), respectively.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: With senior Ryan Barba at shortstop, sophomore Jordan Pacheco at second base and junior Daniel Stovall at first, New Mexico opponents have run into trouble against arguably the best infield in the MWC and quite possibly the nation.The Lobos' 63 double plays fielded are more than any other MWC school's production with UNLV's 47 the next closest. Not to mention Stovall leads the conference in most double plays turned with 45. Pacheco and Barba are right on his heels, with 43 of their own.
SENSATIONAL STARTERS: The Lobos have relied heavily on their starting rotation for innings and wins. The starters, 21-12 with a 5.21 ERA, have thrown 293.2 innings with 201 strikeouts. The bullpen, 7-8 with a 7.95 ERA, has tossed 137.0 innings with 76 strikeouts.
KEYS TO SUCCESS: In order for New Mexico to win, they need to score early and score often, at least according to the statistics. The Lobos are 0-6 when scoring less than three runs and they are 0-15 when trailing after seven innings and 0-16 after eight innings. On the flip side, they are 13-1 when scoring 10 or more runs and 25-3 when leading after seven innings and 23-1 when leading after eight innings.
The Lobos are 11-14 when an opponent scores first and 7-9 when their opponent scores in the first inning. But, they are 11-5 when they score in the first and 17-6 when they score first. The Lobos are also 20-2 when they out-hit their opponents but 6-17 when they are outhit.
REACHING FOR THE RECORDBOOKS: Juniors Chris Carlson and Daniel Stovall are trying to set as many records as they can before their season is up and they possibly move on to the next level. Carlson has already made the book for home runs in a season and career. He is tied fifth for both with 19 this season and 34 in his career. If the season ended today, Carlson would set a new career record for slugging percentage with .733. Stovall is just shy of the books in four categories, needing three home runs, four doubles and 26 RBIs to tie fifth in the career book and six doubles to tie fifth in the season book. Junior Matt Foote, hit 17 times this season, is tied second in the season book, needing three more for a new record.
Junior Danny Ray Herrera is also making his mark on the books. His nine wins this season ties him for fourth in the season book. His 41 games started, 21 wins and 277.0 innnings pitched leave him fifth in each category in the career book. One more inning of work and he will take over fifth in the season book and 11 more strikeouts will place him fifth in the career book.
KDEF 1150 AM TO BROADCAST LOBO BASEBALL FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE SEASON: For the third straight season, Albuquerque radio station KDEF will supply exclusive broadcasts of Lobo baseball on 1150 AM and throughout the world at www.GoLobos.com. All of the team's 29 home games will be broadcast live.
Henry Tafoya will call the play-by-play for the Lobos, while Dan Rivera and Mike Foote will provide analysis. It also marks the third straight season for the trio calling Lobo baseball. Prior to each broadcast, there will be a 15 minute pre-game show. A post-game show with interviews will follow at the conclusion of each game.
In addition to the broadcasts, all of New Mexico's home games can be followed live on the internet at www.GoLobos.com with Gametracker. Gametracker takes official statistics from the press box and provides up-to-the-minute information for users, including updated team and individual stats, an updated box score, and play-by-play. Gametracker can be accessed on the right side of UNM's home page in the upcoming events box.