March 29, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Senior Stephen Smith pitched seven innings and allowed only two hits while Brian Cavazos-Galvez went 4-for-4 to lead the University of New Mexico baseball team to a 9-4 victory over Vermont (5-7) Saturday night at Isotopes Park. The Lobos swept the Saturday doubleheader with a 9-4 matinee win to improve to 17-10.
The Lobos used five Catamount errors to help their cause. In the second, designated hitter Rafael Neda reached on an error and, after advancing to second on a wild pitch, Neda scored with a Cavazos-Galvez single to right. A Kevin Atkinson groundout advanced Cavazos-Galvez to third, who came around to score when Drew McDonald reached on an error giving the Lobos a 2-1 edge. Neda and Cavazos-Galvez hit back-to-back doubles with two outs in the third. Cavazos-Galvez would then score courtesy a Kevin Atkinson single to left, 4-1.
The Lobos added two more in the fourth, 6-1, with an Ian Hollick double to score Scott Gracey and Mike Brownstein. Brownstein singled in his first at-bat and had a hit in Game One to advance his hitting streak to 15 games. The Lobos added a run in the fifth, 7-1, when Cavazos-Galvez scored his third run of the game on McDonald sac fly.
After plating a run in the first, Vermont was held scoreless until the seventh on a Mark Micowski RBI double, 7-2. The Lobos countered with two runs in the eighth, 9-4.
Smith, who improved to 2-1 with the win and fanned six, gave way to Drew Kendrick. Kendrick sat down the Catamounts 1-2-3 in the eighth, but gave up two runs before closing out the game to give the Lobos their eighth win in 10 games.
In afternoon game, the Lobos used a five-run first inning to propel to a 9-4 victory. Senior Matt Hibbitts singled to center to start the rally. Bobby Moore followed with a walk to bring up freshman Rafael Neda who drilled his fifth homer of the season to give the Lobos an early 3-0 lead. Brian Cavazos-Galvez singled to left and was brought around to score after a two-run blast off the bat of Kevin Atkinson.
Lobo starter Jacob Norton cruised through five scoreless innings before three Vermont runs crossed the plate in the top of the sixth. Norton earned the victory on the eight-hit, six-run effort to improve to 3-2. Senior Adam Skelton preserved the lead with three innings of relief work, giving up only one run and three hits to earn the save.
"The thing we are doing is we are not getting the big hit. We left 10 people on base in Game One. In Game Two we ran ourselves out of innings by running mistakes," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "We are still winning, but we are making mistakes with the bases and the bats. The guys are trying to do too much. We can't get all the guys hot at one time, but hopefully we will."
The Lobos look to sweep with the series finale set for tomorrow, March 30, at 1 p.m. at Isotopes Park.