Feb. 27, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--The University of New Mexico baseball team continued its winning ways Wednesday at Isotopes Park, beating the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 7-3, to improve to 5-0. Senior southpaw Jacob Norton pitched 6.1 solid innings while Drew McDonald and Brian Cavazos- Galvez provided a combined five hits and five RBIs.
"We should beat Texas Tech. They have a new assistant coach in there who has given them some new life and they have good athletes, but what we have is `us' and `we'," Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham said. "Also, we have four of the best baseball coaches in the country and I can't tell you enough about my assistant coaches Ken Jacome, Chad Tidwell and Gerard Pineda. We are teaching these kids how to play the game right and we are teaching them how to win. Winning is an attitude and we are not going to doubt ourselves. We are going to go at you. You better bring your A-game to beat the Lobos."
Norton didn't surrender a hit to the Red Raiders until the fourth inning, giving up two consecutive singles to Joey Kenworthy and Chris Richburg. With no outs and runners on first and second, Norton coaxed the designated hitter Roger Kieschnick into a 4-6-3 double play and retired the next batter to escape the jam.
McDonald led off the second with a home run and has now had a round-tripper in three of his first five at-bats this season. After a Kevin Atkinson double down the left-field line, junior Brian Cavazos-Galvez blasted a monster shot to left field, giving the Lobos an early lead. Mike Brownstein would later double in Scott Gracey to put the Lobos ahead 4-0 after two.
The Lobos plated another run in the fourth after Cavazos-Galvez legged out a triple to lead off the inning and was brought home on a Dane Hamilton fly out.
The Red Raiders led off the fifth with a single, but again Norton forced a double play and stuck out the next batter to keep Texas Tech scoreless. Matt Hibbitts, who singled in the third, laced a double to left field to start the bottom frame of the fifth. McDonald followed with a double of his own and would finish the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Two batters later, Cavazos-Galvez doubled to score McDonald and put the Lobos up 7-0. Cavazos-Galvez ended the day a single shy of the cycle, but with three hits and three RBIs.
Trouble came in the top of the seventh for Norton. Kieschnick led the inning off with a double and would score on a home run by Jason Seefeld, making the score 7-2.
Norton (1-0) would give way to junior Clinton Cox who pitched 2.2 innings of solid relief, striking out three and giving up only one run, his first in his three appearances this season. Norton surrendered only five hits and fanned three while walking two in his first win of the season.
"Our pitching and our defense were outstanding," Birmingham said. "What we believe in is, everyday you are going to struggle, baseball is built in for struggle, but you've got to keep your head on right. We have to pull for each other and we have to keep competing because the mountain is big, but we are going to get there."
New Mexico hits the road for eight games in three states over the course of the next 11 days. The Lobos will duel Texas State in a three-game series starting Friday, Feb.29 at 5 p.m. The Lobos are back in action at home on March 11 against Texas Tech.