Lobos Sweep Rebels
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/27/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 27, 2011

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Box Score

ALBUQUERQUE - The Lobos pulled off their first series sweep of the season as they beat conference foe UNLV 9-7 on a sunny afternoon.


The win completes the first conference-series sweep for the Lobos this season, and it is also the sixth straight victory for the team overall. Head Baseball Coach Ray Birmingham believes the momentum his team has built will be good heading into the future.

"Momentum is huge and confidence is huge, Birmingham said. "We needed some confidence building and now we have some confidence in what we are doing, so hopefully we will continue to get everybody on board and compete."


The Lobos played from behind early on, as UNM starting pitcher Rudy Jaramillo gave up a second inning solo homerun to UNLV's left fielder Marvin Campbell. The Rebels added to their one run lead in the top of the fourth, as Campbell grabbed his second RBI of the game with a double to left field. UNLV's center fielder Cash Thomas drove in one more run in the inning, giving the Rebels a 3-0 lead after four.


UNM answered back in the fifth when second baseman Ben Woodchick brought home short stop Alex Allbritton to close the Rebels' lead to 3-1.


After UNM's run in the fifth, UNLV answered right back with a run of its own in the top of the sixth. The Rebels extended their lead to 4-1, as third baseman Richie Jimenez knocked an RBI single up the middle.


Not to be outdone, the Lobos rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking the lead from the Rebels, 5-4. UNLV decided to pull its starting pitcher, Tyler Iodence, in favor of reliever Brady Zuniga, to begin the inning. Iodence came out of the game after throwing for five innings and surrendering just one run on three hits. The Lobos made UNLV pay for replacing Iodence, as freshman DJ Peterson got things started by raking an RBI double to left field. On the very next at-bat, third baseman Quay Grant drove in Petereson with an RBI double of his own. Grant would come home on an RBI sacrifice fly by Kyle Stiner, and Ben Woodchick would drive in the fourth run with an RBI single to left.


With one out in the seventh, the Lobos replaced Jaramillo with Cory Maltz. Jaramillo left the game after throwing for 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on ten hits. Maltz got the Lobos out of the inning by striking out the two batters he faced.


"I thought Rudy (Jaramillo) competed very hard," Birmingham said. "Rudy is a fantastic young man and I thought he pitched really well."


The Lobos added to their lead in the bottom of the seventh, with Peterson providing the highlight of the inning. Peterson blasted a two-run homer to left, his second of the season, on a 2-2 count, putting the Lobos ahead 7-4. UNM added another run in the inning off an Allbritton RBI single, giving them an 8-4 lead heading into the eighth.


UNLV got itself back into the game, as UNM's Maltz struggled to keep the Rebels' bats at bay. UNLV totaled three runs in the inning, all charged to Maltz after he was replaced by Austin House. After getting one out, House got pulled in the eighth as well. Gera Sanchez was called on for his third straight game, as he replaced House. Sanchez finally got the Lobos out of the inning by getting a force out at home with the bases loaded for the second out, and a groundout to third on the next at-bat for the final out. The damage had been done however, as the Rebels cut the Lobos' lead to 8-7.


UNM sophomore catcher Mitchell Garver added an insurance run for the Lobos in the bottom of the eighth with a booming solo home run to left. Garvers' bomb put the Lobos ahead 9-7 going into the ninth.


Gera Sanchez trotted back out to the mound in the ninth to try and end things for the Lobos. Sanchez put UNLV away in the ninth, just like he did in the two previous games against the Rebels, to give the Lobos a 9-7 victory.


"I just hope we keep winning and stay hot," Sanchez said after the game.


"Its Gera Sanchez weekend here at the University of New Mexico," Birmingham joked in reference to Sanchez's great weekend of work.


Jaramillo (2-2) picks up the win for the Lobos, while Zuniga (1-2) gets the loss for the Rebels. Sanchez picks up his fourth save on the season.


The Lobos next travel to Arizona, as they take on the Wildcats in a two-game set beginning March 29 at 5:00 p.m. MT.