March 11, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. – The Lobos lost a heartbreaker to a tough Oklahoma State squad as the Cowboys used a late ninth-inning rally to defeat the Lobos, 3-2.
The late rally spoiled a great outing had by the Lobos’ junior starting pitcher Gera Sanchez. Sanchez was lights out for the Lobos as he threw seven solid innings, striking out eight and giving up just one run on five hits.
On the offensive side, UNM’s designated hitter Jacob Nelson got things kick started for the Lobos as he slapped a single to left field off Oklahoma State’s starting pitcher Brad Propst, bringing in two runs. Lobo left fielder John Twichell scored from third base, while Quay Grant came home from second due to a throwing error by Oklahoma State’s left fielder Devin Shines, giving the Lobos a 2-0 lead after the top of the fourth inning.
Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh innings, with the Lobos holding a 2-1 lead, making it apparent the game was becoming quite the pitching dual between Sanchez and Propst.
After his fantastic performance, Sanchez was replaced by sophomore relief pitcher Austin House in the bottom of the eighth. House got into a little trouble against the Cowboys’ top of the order, as he hit Zach Johnson and surrendered a single to DH Dane Phillips. But, with two on and one out, House pulled through, forcing Luis Uribe to ground out into a double play to close out the inning.
After a great performance throughout the entire game, it all came down to the bottom half of the ninth inning with the Lobos leading, 2-1. Things went to plan at first as UNM’s House got OSU’s Gabe Weidenaar to ground out to second base for the first out. From there, Oklahoma State rallied as House gave up a pair of singles to Jared Womack and Mark Ginther, giving the Cowboys runners on first and second with one out. Shines, who had an error earlier in the game that gave the Lobos one of their runs, stepped up to the plate with a chance to redeem his previous mistake. Shines seized the opportunity by ripping a double into left field, driving in two runs and giving the Cowboys the win, 3-2.
New Mexico falls to 3-11 with the loss while Oklahoma State improves to 10-3. Blake Barnes (2-0) of Oklahoma State gets the win and New Mexico’s Austin House (0-1) is charged with the loss.
The Lobos will face the Cowboys again tomorrow at 1 p.m. MT for game two of the three game set.