April 20, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Starter Stephen Smith earned his fourth win of the season and first baseman Kevin Atkinson was 4-of-5 from the plate as the University of New Mexico baseball team sweep the weekend series with Utah, 15-8, this afternoon at Lobo Field. The win moved the Lobos (27-14, 11-4 MWC) into a tie for first place in the Mountain West Conference. Utah is now 13-20 overall and 3-8 in MWC action.
Smith (4-1) threw 5.2 innings and did not give up a hit until the top of the third. The senior from Gilbert, Ariz., struck out three, walked two, and gave up one earned run on seven hits. John James (2-5) took the loss for the Utes.
"All year long when I've pitched we've struggled a little bit, but we got some runs in the first inning and it felt good to pitch with a lead," said Smith. "I felt like I did good, throwing strikes, going after their hitters, and just pitching my game. It will be nice to have a week off from conference play this week, but we can't take these upcoming games lightly."
Brian Cavazos-Galvez hit a triple in the bottom of the first inning to drive in Mike Brownstein and Matt Hibbitts, and give the Lobos a 2-0 lead. Atkinson got his first hit of the game on the next at-bat, a single to drive in Cavazos-Galvez, 3-0.
Utah got on the scoreboard in the fourth when catcher Jesse Shriner knocked in Dustin Hennis, 4-1.
Wilson scored a second time in the fourth on Brownstein's third single of the game, 5-1.
The Lobos got five runs in the fifth inning on four hits, including doubles by Atkinson and Wilson to build the lead to 10-1. Utah responded with three runs in the sixth to cut the Lobo lead to 10-4.
Ian Hollick and Hibbitts had back-to-back doubles to start a four-run sixth for the Lobos, 14-4. Hibbitts scored again in the seventh on a wild pitch to build the Lobo lead, 15-4.
With two outs in the eighth, Utah picked up four runs on a single by Michael Beltran and a three-run homerun by Cody Guymon, 15-8.
Atkinson led the Lobos at the plate, 4-of-5, with two runs scored and three RBI. Brownstein, Hibbitts, and Wilson each had three hits, while Hollick and Gracey had two each. Hibbitts scored four runs in the win.
The Lobos have five non-conference games coming up this week. UNM travels to Tucson on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22-23, to take on Arizona. Next weekend, April 25-27, No. 5 UC Irvine will come to Albuquerque for a three-game series.