Lobos' First MWC Home Series This Week With Air Force
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/12/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 12, 2006

UP NEXT FOR THE LOBOS: New Mexico, 20-12 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference, host Air Force for its first conference home series of 2006. The Lobos and Falcons will play a doubleheader at Isotopes Park on Thursday, April 13 beginning at 2 p.m. The series will conclude on Friday with a single game at Lobo Field starting at 3 p.m. CSTV's Gametracker is available at UNM's official athletic website, www.GoLobos.com. Dan Rivera and Mike Foote will have the call on KDEF 1150 AM in Albuquerque and on the web at www.GoLobos.com.

Game one on Thursday should pit right-handed senior Nate Melek (3-4, 6.31 ERA) against righty Mitch Brown (3-6, 4.79 ERA). Right-handed senior Jesse Perez (1-0, 10.93 ERA) is slated to make his second start of the season in the night cap, facing righty Jake Petro (2-1, 5.54 ERA). Left-handed junior Danny Ray Herrera (6-0, 1.57 ERA) is scheduled to throw Friday vs. Josh Meents (0-2, 9.49 ERA) or Casey Allen (1-2, 9.59 ERA).

NEW MEXICO VS. AIR FORCE, THE SERIES: The Lobos and the Aztecs met once this season, resulting in a 6-4 Air Force win at the Mountain West Conference Preseason Tournament. The win is the Falcon's sole win in conference play so far. The two teams met seven times in 2005 with the Lobos winning six, including the match-up at the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Salt Lake City. Over the seven games, New Mexico scored 87 runs on 101 hits while Air Force scored 54 runs on 87 hits. The Lobos committed 13 errors and the Falcons had 11. Below are some series notes:
Series Record: 91-40
Series Record in Albuquerque: 54-14
Series Record in Colo. Springs: 34-23
Series Record at Neutral Site: 3-2
Last Series Win: 5/19-21, 2005
Last Series Loss: 4/19-21, 2002
Last Home Series Win: 4/15-17, 2005
Last Home Series Loss: never
Last Road Series Win: 5/19-21, 2005
Last Road Series Loss: 4/19-21, 2002
Last UNM Series Sweep: 4/15-17, 2005
Last Air Force Series Sweep: 4/19-21, 2002
Last 10 Games: 8-2
Coach Alday vs. Air Force: 68-18
Longest UNM Win Streak: 18, 2/28/03-5/20/05
Longest UNM Losing Streak: 4, twice
Last UNM Win: 5/25/05 (11-9)
Last UNM Loss: 5/21/05 (5-4)
Last UNM Home Win: 4/17/05 (12-6)
Last UNM Home Loss: 3/22/02 (8-4)
Last UNM Road Win: 5/20/05 (20-14)
Last UNM Road Loss: 5/21/05 (5-4)
Last UNM Shutout Win: 4/29/01 (6-0)
Last UNM Shutout Loss: 5/13/88 (11-0)
Highest Scoring Game: 42 (W, 31-11, 4/17/04)
Largest Margin of Victory: 23 (5/2/03, W, 25-2)
Most Runs By UNM: 31 (W, 31-11, 4/17/04)
Most Runs By AFA: 17 (5/3/63, L, 17-5)
UNM In 1-Run Games: 17-5
UNM In Conf. Tournament: 3-1
2005-06 Results:
Apr. 15 at Albuquerque; W, 7-4
Apr. 17 at Albuquerque; W, 18-7
Apr. 17 at Albuquerque; W, 12-6
May 19 at Air Force Academy; W, 15-9
May 20 at Air Force Academy; W, 20-14
May 21 at Air Force Academy; L, 4-5
May 25 at Salt Lake City (MWC Trn); W, 11-9
Mar. 30 at San Diego (MWC Ptrn.); L, 4-6

SCOUTING THE FALCONS: Air Force is 10-20 overall and 1-6 in the Mountain West Conference heading into the weekend. The Falcons are 5-5 at home, 3-7 on the road and 2-8 at neutral locations. Hitting just .239 as a team while their opponent hold a .312 batting average, AFA has lost four in a rown and 14 of its last 17. They have a 7.54 ERA and .961 fielding percentage compared to their opponents' 3.61 ERA and .963 fielding percentage.

Matt Ghigna holds Air Force's highest batting average at .284 and is tied with Geno Salazar for the team's most hits (25). Salazar has scored a team-high 19 runs while Josh Meents, hitting .250, leads the team in home runs (5) and RBI (18). Mitch Brown, the Falcon's ace, has a team-low 4.79 ERA for starters and leads the team in wins (3), losses (6), starts (9), complete games (2), innings pitched (47.0) and strikeouts (37). Paul Vignola is their most used reliever, making 16 appearances for a 1-1 record and 2.84 ERA. He has fanned 35 and walked just five in 25.1 innings.

BOMBS AWAY: The New Mexico offense, sparked by junior Chris Carlson, has been dropping bombs on opponents and the record books lately. Tuesday at Texas Tech, Carlson belted two home runs, combining with his teammates for five in the game. The last time UNM had five homers in a game was April 18, 2004 at Air Force.

In the sixth inning, Carlson's second home run came on a 3-2 pitch that he blasted to left. The very next pitch junior Daniel Stovall took yard, making it the first time since May 28, 2004 vs. Utah that the Lobos had back-to-back home runs. Stovall was a part of the previous back-to-back bombs, hitting the first one that was followed by one from A.J. Spitaleri.

FIRST TO 20: Sunday's 15-7 win at San Diego State gave New Mexico its 20th win of the season. Needing 31 games to reach 20 wins, the 2006 team ties with the 1993, 1984, 1982 and 1980 teams for the ninth fastest to 20. The 1969 and 1973 teams tie for the quickest, needing just 22 games to win 20. Under coach Rich Alday, the 2003 team was the fastest, needing 30 to win 20. This year's squad is tied for the second fastest to 20 with the 1993 team while coached by Alday.

EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: UNM has played eight extra-inning games this season, going 4-4. The eight games sets a new program record for the most extra inning games. The previous record was seven, set by the 1984 team. The team to come closest to the mark since '84 was the 1991 team led by Alday, which played four extra inning games.

The longest extra inning game of the season was a 12 inning, 3-2 loss to BYU at the Mountain West Conference Preseason Tournament. The 12 inning game ties for the fourth longest in program history. The longest was a 4-3 loss to New Mexico State on Feb. 9, 2002 in 15 innings. The Lobos have also played one 14 inning game (a 9-8 win over Colorado State on March 17, 1973) and a 13 inning game (a 4-4 tie vs. Colorado State in 1964).

ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: The Lobos are 20-12 overall, which is the best record in the Mountain West Conference to date. TCU has won 19 games, with a winning percentage of .543 and leads the conference standings at 6-1. New Mexico is 3-3 in the MWC, which is the third best, trailing San Diego State in second with a 4-1 record.

The Lobos are the top fielding team in the conference with a percentage of .973. They have turned 46 double plays, which is 12 more than any other school in the MWC.

Individually, the Lobos are dominating all the categories. New Mexico has at least two ranked in the top-10 in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, RBIs, doubles, home runs, total bases, walks, times hit by a pitch and stolen bases. Sophomore Ian Hollick stands out for the Lobos, ranking in the top-10 in batting average (.350, 6th), slugging percentage (.598, 5th), on-base percentage (.446, 6th), runs scored (28, 8th), hits (41, T10th), RBI (28, T5th), doubles (10, T5th), triples (2, T4th), home runs (5, T8th), total bases (70, T6th) and walks (19, T7th).

Junior Danny Ray Herrera has etched his name throughout the pitching categories, holding the best ERA (1.57), opposing batting avg. (.211), most innings pitched (80.1), most games started (10) and fewest runs allowed (16) for pitchers who average at least 1 inning per game. Herrera is also in the top-10 in stikeouts (66, 4th), strikeouts looking (19, 3rd), wins (6, 2nd), fewest earned runs allowed (14, 2nd), fewest walks allowed (18, 8th), fewest doubles allowed (5, 2nd) and fewest triples allowed (1, T4th).

The fielders are just as strong individually, leading the conference in two of the six categories. First basemen Daniel Stovall has turned a league-high 35 double plays and is third in putouts (257), fourth in chances (265) and ninth in fielding percentage (996). Junior center fielder Matt Foote and junior designated hitter/first baseman Chris Carlson hold perfect fielding percentages to tie for the conference lead. Senior shortstop Ryan Barba is second in the conference in assists (109) and has turned the second most double plays (34) while sophomore second baseman Jordan Pacheco has dished out 108 assists and is third in double plays turned (31) and ninth in chances (184).