Lobo Baseball Hosts San Francisco in Mid-Week Series
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/19/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 19, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico will face San Francisco in a two-game mid-week series this Tuesday and Wednesday at Isotopes Park. Both games are scheduled for 6 p.m. MT. Tuesday's game will be broadcast live on 101.7 FM The TEAM.The Lobos (24-13) are coming off a three-game sweep of Coppin State. San Francisco is 19-16 on the season and is 2-0 against MWC teams. The Dons beat San Diego State in San Diego, 5-3 on March 14 and dismantled BYU 20-4 in San Francisco. The Dons defeated No. 19 Stanford 5-1 in Palo Alto on March 29.

The Lobos will resume MWC play this weekend against Air Force in Colorado Springs. New Mexico leads the all-time series against the Falcons, 106-40 and have won 15 straight.


• The Dons are 19-16 on the season, 7-3 in their last 10 games and 10-10 on the road.

• San Francisco is coached by Nino Giarratano, who is in his 11th year coaching the Dons with an 327-333 (.495) record.

• The Dons return 15 players with starting experience, 23 letterwinners and 13 starting pitchers from last year's squad.

• San Francisco is led at the plate by freshman outfielder Jared Denham, who is hitting .358. Denham has 11 doubles, two triples and 15 RBIs.

• The Dons are hitting .279 as a team.

• San Francisco is led on the mound by senior right-hander Doug Murray, who is 5-4 on the season and has an ERA of 3.41. He has pitched 66.0 innings and has 44 strikeouts.

• The Dons have a 4.22 team ERA.

• The Lobos will likely face freshman left-hander Elliott Waterman on Tuesday and junior right-hander Johnathan Abramson on Wednesday. Waterman is 1-0 on the season with an 3.38 ERA. Tuesday will be the first start of the season for Waterman. Abramson is 1-0 and has an 9.26 ERA. He has 10 strikeouts and four walks in 11.2 innings pitched.


San Francisco leads the all-time series against New Mexico, 2-1. All three games were played in Albuquerque on March 17-19, 2006. San Francisco won 10-9 and 11-6 on March 17-18. New Mexico won game three on March 19, 10-7.


As a team the Lobos rank 15th in the nation in doubles (86) and 18th in hits with 401. New Mexico also is ranked 14th in the NCAA with a .346 batting average. The Lobos are tied for 36th in the nation with 12 triples on the season.

Senior Justin Howard is ranked 11th in the nation with 58 hits, No. 79 with a .414 batting average and tied for 35th with 14 doubles. Senior Chris Juarez is tied at No. 79 with Howard with a .414 batting average.

Sophomore Gera Sanchez is tied for 41st in the NCAA with five saves.


The Lobo offense got 29 runs on 29 hits in a 29-3 game three victory over Coppin State this past Sunday. New Mexico got its third-highest run total in school history and tied the fourth most hits in a single game against The Eagles. The Lobos' 28 RBIs tied a school record for the second time in two years. Senior Justin Howard tied two school record and set career-highs with six hits and six runs scored in a single game. Freshman Alex Allbritton tied a school record for two triples in a single game.


Freshman Alex Allbritton returned to the starting lineup on April 18 against Coppin State after missing eight games with an injury to the index finger on his throwing hand. The Aurora, Colo., native went 2-for-5 and tied a school record with two triples. Allbritton also had three RBIs.


Freshmen Mitchell Garver, Bobby Mares, John Michael Twichell and Alex Allbritton each had a hand in a three-game series sweep of Coppin State this weekend. Bobby Mares remained undefeated this season and picked up his third win and scattered 5 hits over five innings with two strikeouts in game one. Twichell had the hot bat going 7-for-13 (.538) with one double, one triple and three RBIs. Garver was 4-for-6 with one double and one RBI in game three. Allbritton saw his first start since April 2 and went 2-for-5 with two triples and three RBIs.


Senior Justin Howard leads the Lobos in batting average at a .422 clip. Howard also leads the team in on-base percentage (.476), doubles (16), runs scored (45) and hits (70). Senior Chris Juarez is hitting .413 with nine doubles and 16 RBIs. Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda is hitting .347 on the season and leads the team in RBIs (40).

The Lobo pitching staff is led by junior Richard Olson, who has an ERA of 3.32 and is 3-2 on the season. Olson is second on the team with 42 strikeouts. Junior Kenny Toves is 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA. Senior Willy Kesler has a 4.82 ERA, is 2-1 on the season and leads the team in strikeouts with 52.


The Lobos lead the Mountain West Conference with a .346 batting average and are second in doubles with 101. The Lobo pitching staff is fourth in the conference with a 5.51 ERA and is second in the MWC in strikeouts with 271.

Several Lobo hitters are making their presence known in the MWC rankings. Senior Justin Howard is back on top of the Mountain West standings in batting average at a .422 clip. Howard also ranks first in runs scored (45), on-base percentage (.476) hits (16) and doubles (16). Senior Chris Juarez is second in the conference with a .413 batting average and ranked eighth with 52 hits. Senior Cameron Smith ranks ninth in the conference with a .369 batting average. Junior All-America candidate Rafael Neda is tied for third in the MWC with 40 RBIs and is only two off the leader. Howard is tied for sixth with 38 RBIs.

The pitching staff is just as impressive in the MWC rankings. Junior Richard Olson is ranked sixth in the conference with a 3.32 ERA and junior Kenny Toves is ranked seventh with a 3.35 ERA. Olson also is ranked eighth in the conference with 42 strikeouts. Senior Willy Kesler is ranked third in the conference with 52 strikeouts. Senior Edwin Carl is tied for fifth in the league with 16 batters stuck out looking. Sophomore Gera Sanchez is tied for the league lead in saves with five.

On defense, Howard is ranked first in putouts with 333.


The Lobos are receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top-30 poll and the USA Today Coaches top-25 poll. New Mexico earned its way back into Ping!baseball's top-30 poll at the No. 27 spot. Two, one-run losses to then No. 9/8 Arkansas followed by a three-game series sweep of Coppin State put the Lobos back in the national rankings.

The Lobos also are ranked No. 28 in boydsworld.com's RPI index. The Lobos are the second-highest ranked Mountain West team. No. 19 TCU, No. 83 BYU and No. 99 San Diego State are the other MWC representatives in the top-100. New Mexico has two victories over No. 6 Texas, No. 85 New Mexico State, No. 72 USC, No. 83 BYU and three wins over No. 99 San Diego State. The Lobos face three more teams this season in the top-100, TCU (19), Texas Tech (32) and San Diego State (99).