May 6, 2004
PROVO, Utah - The New Mexico baseball team stayed right in the thick of the Mountain West race as it defeated BYU, 9-6, Thursday night at Larry Miller Park. Jason Fernandez earned his team-leading sixth win of the season by pitching seven innings and allowing six runs, although only two were earned. Offensively, the Lobos collected 12 hits, including three by Chris Dabbs, who went 3-for-4 with three runs a two-run homer. The Lobos are now one game back of UNLV in the MWC standings.
UNM (19-23-1, 15-7 Mountain West) scored all nine of its runs in the first five innings. The Lobos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Josh Mader and Sean Murray. The Cougars got one back in the bottom of the inning, but Matt Young countered with an RBI single in the second. Young went 3-for-5 with two runs in the game.
Dabbs built the Lobo lead to 5-1 with a two-run shot in the third inning, his fourth homer of the season. BYU cut it close at 5-4 with three runs in the bottom of the third, although all of the runs were unearned.
But that's as close as BYU would get, as New Mexico tacked on two runs in each the fourth and fifth innings. Joe Salas drove home two runs in the fourth with a single, while Ryan Barba and Tim Grady both collected an RBI in the fifth on a fielder's choice and sacrifice fly, respectively.
The Cougars scored solo runs in the fifth and seventh innings.
Fernandez (6-5) struck out four, scattered 10 hits and didn't walk a single batter in defeating the Cougars for the second time this season. Petr Pacas pitched a scoreless eighth, while Salas closed the ninth for his fourth save of the season. Salas is now tied for second all-time at UNM with 10 career saves.
Patrick Wells (5-4) pitched four innings in the loss for BYU.
New Mexico returns to action for game two of the series against BYU tomorrow with the first pitch at 7 p.m. Live stats will be available at www.BYUCougars.com.