March 10, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- It was a battle at Isotopes Park as the University of New Mexico baseball team lost a close game to New Mexico State, 5-4, to split the 2009 series. Each team won on the opponent's home field. The Lobos are now 13-3 on the season while NMSU is 12-1.
Both teams battled through the first four innings, each leaving the bases loaded to end their respective halves of the fourth inning. New Mexico State got on the scoreboard first in the fifth inning, 1-0. The Aggies added one more in the sixth when Mike Sodders got the first of his two hits in the game, a double to score Kyle Decater, 2-0.
NMSU tied the game in the top of the eighth, 3-3. Sodders broke the tie in the top of the ninth with a two-run homer to left field that gave the Aggies a 5-3 lead.
New Mexico started the ninth with three consecutive singles by Rafael Neda, Ryan Honeycutt and Max Willett. Ben Woodchick, pinch running for Neda, scored on a balk by Aggie reliever Erik Nyquist to cut the lead to 5-4. But Nyquist got Atkinson and pinch hitter Cameron Smith to strikeout and Daniel Gonzalez to fly out to right to end the Lobo momentum.
"This game came down to which team made the last mistake," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham.
Honeycutt ended up hitting 5-for-5, while Brownstein was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Willett ended up 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Clinton Cox (0-1) took the loss in relief, giving up his first runs of the season. Both teams used six pitchers each in the mid-week affair. Sturdevant (2-1) earned the win for NMSU, while Nyquist earned his second save.
The Lobos begin Mountain West Conference action this week. Air Force comes to Albuquerque for a three-game series at Isotopes Park. Game time on Friday is 6 p.m., followed by a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Getaway game time on Sunday is set for noon.