Lobos Conclude 12-Game Homestand With Dallas Baptist
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/21/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 21, 2006


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UP NEXT FOR THE LOBOS: New Mexico, 15-7 overall, concludes its 12-game homestand with a three-game series vs. Dallas Baptist (17-8). The Lobos are coming off their first series loss, winning just one of three games against San Francisco while the Patriots have won six straight and nine of their last 11. The teams meet for the first time ever on Thursday, at 6 p.m. at Isotopes Park with a special 2-for-1 Thursday celebration. Buy any regular priced ticket and get one of equal or less value for free. The teams also play at 6 p.m. on Friday and at noon on Saturday.

Senior right handed Nate Melek will take the mound Thursday against Rodney Brantley. Melek is 3-2 with a 4.24 ERA while Brantley is 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA.

Lobo lefty, junior Danny Ray Herrera will square off with Randall Taylor on Friday. Herrera is undefeated at 5-0 and has a 1.49 ERA, the lowest in the Mountain West Conference. Taylor is 2-1 with a 5.55 ERA.

Freshman righty Chace Lankford is slated to throw on Saturday while DBU has yet to announce a starter. Lankford is 4-1 with a 4.87 ERA and has not lost a game since switching from the closer roll to a starter.

Live stats will be available at the Lobos' official athletic website: www.GoLobos.com. Dan Rivera and Mike Foote will have the call on KDEF 1150 AM in Albuquerque and on the internet at UNM's website.

UNM VS. DALLAS BAPTIST, THE SERIES: The all-time series begins now, as Dallas Baptist becomes the 130th collegiate school to take on the Lobos in the program's 89 years of action.

The Patriots are the 21st different team to take on the Lobos at Isotopes Park since New Mexico started playing all their home games there in 2004. Overall, first-time visitors to the park have gone 11-9 in their first game. In 2004, opponents were 6-6 in their first game. In 2005, first-time visitors to Isotopes Park were 2-3 in their initial game and this season, they are 2-1.

Dallas Baptist is also the third independent school New Mexico has hosted this season. So far, New Mexico is 6-0 vs. independent schools in 2006.

SCOUTING THE PATRIOTS: Dallas Baptist is 17-8 overall, going 11-5 at home, 4-1 on the road and 2-2 at neutral locations. As a team, the Patriots are hitting .308 while holding their opponents to a .242 batting average. They have a 4.58 ERA compared to their opponents' 8.23 average.

DBU's top two hitters are Drew Holder and Austing Krum, hitting .392 and .391, respectively. Krum has a team-high 43 hits and eight stolen bases while Holder leads the team in runs scored (37), doubles (12), home runs (9), RBI (46) and walks (15).

The Patriots' ace, Rodney Brantley, is 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA in six starts. He has allowed just 18 hits and 11 walks while fanning 35 in 42 innings. Their other starter, Randall Taylor, is 2-1 with a 5.55 ERA in six starts. Taylor too has struck out 35 and walked just seven in 35.2 innings.

Senior shortstop Ryan Barba

WINNING WAYS: The Lobos are 15-7 overall, which ties the 1993 and 2003 teams for the best start through the first 22 games since head coach Rich Alday took over the program in 1990. The 1993 team went on to win 35 games, which is tied with the 2000 team for the fifth most wins in a single season in program history. The 2003 team went on to win 34. This season's team, which had an impressive eight-game win streak, is projected to win 38 of 55 games, which includes the two guaranteed games in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

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.The Lobos' 39 double plays fielded are more than any other MWC school's production with UNLV the next closest with 31. Not to mention Barba, Stovall and Pacheco rank 1, 2 and 3 in the conference for most double plays turned with 29, 29 and 28, respectively.

FAST FOOTE: Junior Matt Foote has been running all season and shows no signs of slowing down. His 11 stolen bases on 14 tries leads the team and is second in the conference. He has scored 25 runs, the second most on the team and the third most in the MWC.

HOT HITTING HOLLICK: Sophomore Ian Hollick has not gotten a lot of attention this season. He is hitting .329 with 19 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, three home runs, 21 RBI, 16 walks and even four stolen bases. He leads the team in triples and holds the team's longest hitting streak at 14 games. His career high hit streak started in Arizona on Feb. 18 and didn't end until March 18 vs. San Francisco. During his streak, he accomplished a rare feat vs. 12th-ranked Oregon State, hitting a solo home run off of Dallas Buck, which was just the third off of Buck and the fourth against the team all season.

COUNTING ON CARLSON: Junior Chris Carlson has been someone the Lobos can count on at the plate. Carlson is hitting .373, the second best batting average on the team, and leads the team in home runs (7), walks (17), sacrifice flies (4) and slugging percentage (.699). He has 31 hits, the second most on the team, has scored 23 runs and drove in 30.

DOUBLIN' DAN: Junior Daniel Stovall has been a double-hitting machine this season, cranking out 14 to lead the Mountain West Conference. Stovall hit two in four different games this season, including each of the games in the series vs. Northern Colorado.

PUTTING PACHECO IN PLAY: Sophomore Jordan Pacheco is one of six Lobos to start and play in all 22 games this season. A constant defensive wizard at second, Pacheco has put out 54 batters, the third most on the team, and dished out a team-high 83 assists.When he isn't putting people out, he is putting himself on base. Pacheco is hitting .364, the third best average on the team, has scored a team-high 32 runs and is tied for the team lead in hits (32) and times hit by a pitch (10). He also has drawn 15 walks, the third most on the team and has stolen seven bases, the second most of any Lobo.

D-RAY DELIVERS: Junior Danny Ray Herrera has done nothing but deliver win after win for New Mexico. A perfect 5-0 in seven starts, Herrera holds a 1.49 ERA, the best in the MWC. Herrera has thrown two complete games, including one shutout, leading the conference in innings at 54.1. Herrera has allowed 41 hits, but only three were more than singles. He has fanned 43 and walked just 10. Only nine earned runs have scored with Herrera on the mound.

PUT ME IN COACH, I'M READY TO PLAY: Freshman Chad Itokazu has been ready to play anywhere head coach Rich Alday wants to put him. He's started two games in right field, pinch hit and thrown in relief and performed well each time. At the plate, he is hitting .250 (2-for-8) but has one of the team's seven triples and has three RBI. On the mound, Itokazu has made eight appearance for 9 innings. He has walked five and struck out eight.

Freshman pitcher Chace Lankford

ROLE REVERSAL: Freshman Chace Lankford began the season as UNM's closer but has recently made the switch to starter. In his first three appearances, Lankford came in to close a game, compiling a 1-1 record with a save. But his last three appearances have been as the Sunday starter, going 3-0. Overall, Lankford has been successful no matter when he throws, posting a 4.87 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Senior Nate Melek has claimed the starting role on Friday nights for New Mexico, starting all six of his games in each of the Lobos' six series openers. Melek, with a 4.24 ERA, has gone 3-2 with a complete game in 40.1 innings.He has walked just nine and struck out 21. Melek has also picked off a team-high three runners.

BULLPEN BY COMMITTEE: Head coach Rich Alday has 13 different Lobos in relief so far this season. Junior Damon Miller has made the most appearances (10), going 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA in 12.1 innings. Miller, with eight strikeouts, is tied for the team-high with freshman Chad Itokazu. Itokazu has made eight appearances, the second most on the team, going 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in 9 innings pitched.

Three relievers, juniors Jackie Smith and Sean McKee and freshman Tim Sloan, have yet to give up a run. Of the three, Sloan has made the most appearances (2), allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out two.

Miller, junior Quentin Andes and freshman Chace Lankford all have one win out of the bullpen while Miller (2), Lankford (1) and freshman Jordan Salazar (1) all have at least one save.

REACHING FOR THE RECORDBOOKS: Junior Daniel Stovall is almost into the UNM career record books. Stovall, with 26 home runs, trails fifth place by eight. Jeff Grady is currently in fifth with 34 career homers. Stovall hit nine bombs in 2005 and 12 in 2004. He already has five this season.

Senior Darren Coltrinari and junior Danny Ray Herrera are vying for the same record. Herrera has made 34 career starts while Coltrinari has 32. The fifth most is 40, held by Barry Kiess (1994-97) and James Vermilyea (2001-03). The record is 47.

Both Coltrinari and Herrera are also approaching the top-5 in wins and losses. Herrera, with 16 wins, and Coltrinari, with 11 wins, are chasing Ron Adair (1971-74) and Kurt Hildebrandt (1991-93, `95), who are tied for fifth with 20. Coltrinari and Herrera both have 12 career losses, needing five to place in a four-way tie for second with 17. The record is 21, set by Barry Kiess (1994-97).

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.