April 21, 2013
RENO, Nev. – UNM getting a big ninth-inning rally to defeat the Nevada Wolf Pack sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Trailing 10-7 entering the top of the ninth inning Sunday the Lobos erupted for eight runs in the last inning on their way to a 15-11 victory and a series sweep of the Wolf Pack. It was the second time this season UNM (24-16, 14-4) has rallied in the ninth to defeat Nevada (19-20, 7-11). The Lobos scored six in the bottom of the ninth on March 22 at Isotopes Park to defeat the Wolf Pack 9-8.
UNM has now won seven straight games and remains three games up on UNLV in the Mountain West standings.
The rally started innocently enough with Jared Holley lining out to left. The next seven Lobos, however, reached base and scored. Leadoff man Chase Harris got the rally started with a single through the left side. Sam Haggerty then followed with a walk on a full count to bring up DJ Peterson.
The All-American came through with an opposite-field double to drive home two runs and make it a one-run game. Pinch hitter John Pustay then followed with a double of his own to tie the game at 10 apiece. The next batter was Alex Real and he hit yet another double, this time to center, to give UNM its first lead of the game.
Josh Melendez then extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a single to shallow center to score Real and give the Lobos a two-run advantage. Luke Campbell followed and got in on the action with a double off the wall in left. Two batters later Holley walked to load the bases for Harris.
The junior right fielder smoked a 1-0 pitch to left-center to clear the bases and give UNM a 15-10 lead. Harris’ double was the fifth in the inning for the Lobos. It was the first time they recorded five two-baggers in an inning since March 11, 2005, against Savannah State.
The ninth inning was actually the culmination of a game-long comeback by the Lobos. They trailed 6-0 after four and 8-1 after six. A five-run seventh, which included a two-run single by Haggerty and a two-run double by Peterson, got the Lobos back into the game.
After Nevada added two in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 10-6, Campbell hit a solo home run in the eighth to close the gap and set up the Lobos’ rally in the ninth.
Josh Walker (4-0) earned the win by pitching the brilliantly over the final three innings. He did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the bottom of the ninth with the Lobos comfortably ahead. He finished with three strikeouts and two runs allowed, one earned, on two hits.
Peterson 2-for-4 and drove in four runs, and Holley also went 2-for-4 and led the squad with three runs scored. Harris, Haggerty and Real had three hits apiece, with all three of Real’s going for two bases. The Lobos finished with nine doubles, which is tied for third most in a game in school history and is the most since they pounded out 10 against Coppin St. on April 18, 2010.
The Lobos recorded 17 hits on their way to their second straight MW sweep. UNM, which has won all six MW series this season, has a chance to pull even further away from the pack next weekend when the Lobos host second-place UNLV at Lobo Field.
Notes: Real is the second Lobo to record three doubles in a game this season as Peterson had three against San Diego St. on March 28 … with his two doubles Peterson now has 72 in his career, which is only six shy of the school record … UNM committed four errors that led to four unearned runs for the Wolf Pack.