March 6, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Bobby Mares was lights out on the bump for the second straight Sunday, pitching seven scoreless innings, and the Lobo bats knocked around four UTSA pitchers for 14 hits and eight runs as New Mexico won its first series of the year, finishing off the Roadrunners 8-3 in front of 1,377 fans at Isotopes Park.
Mares, who has thrown 12 straight shutout innings, has now allowed just a single run over his last 17.2 innings. He was masterful on Sunday, throwing seven innings of six-hit ball with six strikeouts and no walks. The only time he ran into any sort of trouble was in the fifth, when he loaded the bases with no out on an infield single sandwiched by a pair of hit batters. However, he struck out RJ Perucki for the first out, and then coaxed a force out at home when Riley Good squibbed one right back to the mound.
Mares finished off the 'Runners in the inning by striking out Daniel Rockett, and then for good measure he struck out the side in the sixth inning before departing after 97 pitches and seven innings.
New Mexico exploded for three in the third and fourth innings to make it 6-0 after four. Kyle Stiner, who went 2-for-5, singled home Quay Grant for the first run of the game after Grant opened the inning with a double. He and Ben Woodchick scored on a two-run single by Mitch Garver. Garver had a big day at the plate going 3-for-4 with three RBI.
In the fourth, UNM looked to have left two on when a two-out fly ball to left was dropped for a two-base error, leading to three unearned runs. In the fifth, Woodchick singled and came all the way around on Stiner's triple to the right field corner. Stiner closed out the scoring for the Lobos when he walked home after Garver ripped a single through the left side.
However, it was all about Mares' effort that had head coach Ray Birmingham happy. "Bobby Mares is a warrior, and he's only a sophomore. He pitched a great game and he is showing he can be a leader for this staff and this team." Birmingham added, "We won the series, which is good for a young club like us, and we hit the ball well. I thought (Kyle) Stiner was key, and Mitch (Garver) was Mitch."
New Mexico heads to New Mexico State for a Rio Grande Rivalry game in Las Cruces at 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday before a weekend three-game set at Oklahoma State.