May 11, 2011
Lobos baseball at No. 8 Oklahoma
The Lobos hit the road once again as they gear up to take on the No. 8 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in a four-game series. The Lobos come into the series riding the momentum of a three-game sweep over Mountain West Conference foe Air Force.
After sweeping Air Force, the Lobos moved into sole posession of thrid place in the MWC. UNM has two top-ten teams left on its remaining schedule in No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 9 TCU. The Lobos seem to be building some momentum as the season nears to an end. The goal is to go into Norman and Fort Worth and prove they can hang with the best.
With only one senior on this year's roster, UNM is young and talented, but has struggled this season. The Lobos look to use the momentum they built in their last series agasint Air Force, as they try to turn some heads in Norman, Okla., this weekend.
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
THE SERIES ... UNM trails in the all-time series against Oklahoma.
Series Record: 1-8 (no record of where three of the games were played)
Home: 0-0 ; Away: 1-5 ; Neutral: 0-0
Known For Their Hitting ... The Lobos have made national news with their bats since Ray Birmingham took over three seasons ago. New Mexico led the nation in hitting in 2009 with a team average of .363. Justin Howard, who was drafted last year, led the country in hitting with a .456 average in `10.
We Really Are New Mexico ... The 2011 New Mexico baseball team has 10 players from the state of New Mexico. During the April 26th game with Texas Tech, UNM had seven of nine players on the field that are from the state of New Mexico at one point.
FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME ... Starting pitchers Rudy Jaramillo and Jake McCasland threw back-to-back complete-game shutouts against Air Force on May 6 and 7, winning by scores of 10-0 and 5-0. The last time the Lobos had two shutouts in a row was on March 17, 1983, when UNM defeated Iowa State, 1-0, and Wyoming, 5-0, on the same day.
PLAYING THE CREAM OF THE CROP ... The Lobos 16-32 record this season does not reflect the talent of this team. One of the reasons UNM has lost over 30 games is due to the fact of the strength of schedule head coach Ray Birmingham put together. Thus far, UNM has played six 30-win teams (Arizona State, Creighton, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, TCU and UNLV), 11 20-win teams (Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Creighton, Gonzaga, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, TCU, UNLV, Texas Tech and Utah), seven teams that were ranked in the top-30 at some point during the 2011 season (Arizona, Arizona State, Creighton, Gonzaga, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State and TCU) and two conference leaders (Creighton-Missouri Valley and TCU-MWC). The bleeding doesn't stop there for the Lobos, however, as they still have No. 10 Oklahoma on the schedule. Coach Birmingham is a believer in if you want to be the best you have to play the best, making no excuses for his team as he truly believes his youthful Lobo squad can hang with the best once they have gotten the experience. The Lobos came into the year with only one returning position player, shortstop Alex Allbritton, having any Division I experience.
STREAKY HITTERS ... The Lobos have seven players on this year's squad whom, at one point in the season, had hitting streaks of eight games or better. Luke Campbell has the best streak on the team at 15 games. He just had the streak snapped on April 29 at UNLV.
FORMER LOBOS GAINING STEAM IN PRO BALL
Matt Young: From undrafted free agent out of UNM to a player on a big league roster, Young has come a long way and deserves the shot he has earned. The Atlanta Braves are very excited about the prospect of Matt Young serving as a backup center fielder to Nate McLouth. Young caught the big league club's attention in 2008 when he hit .289 with 30 stolen bases for Double-A Mississippi. He had similar success in 2009 with Triple-A Gwinnett, as he hit .300 with 42 stolen bases. This will be Young's first stint in the majors, as he has spent the past six seasons in the minor leagues. "It was all kind of a blur," Young said about making the club. "I don't remember what skip said, I just kind of had my head down and was smiling the whole time."
Jordan Pacheco: Former Lobo Pacheco had been turning heads in the Colorado Rockies spring camp this season. Pacheco made quite an impression this spring, as he had a strong push in making the Rockies opening day roster. In 16 games this spring, Pacheco batted .288 with eight RBIs and five runs scored. Pacheco just missed making the roster, however, as he found out March 27 that he would be optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs to begin the season. It's still a great accomplishment for the former MWC Player of the Year, as he was slated to begin the season in Double-A on the Tulsa Drillers.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez: Former Lobo Galvez got promoted within the Los Angeles Dodgers' system to Double-A Chattanooga. In 2009, he earned the Most Valuable Player Award in the Pioneer League after leading the league in hits, runs, doubles and home runs. Last year for Single-A Great Lakes, he hit .318 while racking up 43 stolen bases, 76 runs, 43 doubles, 16 home runs and 77 RBI in 121 games.
LAST SERIES: The Lobos swept the Air Force Falcons in a three-game conference series from May 6-8. Lobos' starting pitchers Rudy Jaramillo and Jake McCasland posted back-to-back complete-game shutouts in games one and two. It was the first time UNM has had back-to-back shutouts since 1983 when UNM defeated Iowa State, 1-0, and Wyoming, 5-0, on March 17, 1983.
ON THE HORIZON ... UNM will be back out on the road May 13-15. The Lobos will face No. 10 ranked Oklahoma in a four-game series that includes a double header on Saturday in Norman, Okla.
30-WIN SEASONS ... The Lobos are averaging 36 wins per year during the last three years under Ray Birmingham...it's the most wins in a three-year period in school history...in 2010, New Mexico had the third highest wins in program history...the most wins in a season by the Lobos is 42 in 1985.
Lobos Picked Fourth In Preseason MWC Poll ... The New Mexico Lobos were picked fourth in the preseason Mountain West Conference coaches poll.