March 3, 2009
LAS CRUCES, N.M. --- Sophomores Rafael Neda and Ryan Honeycutt combined for six hits and six RBI as the University of New Mexico baseball team beat Rio Grande rival New Mexico State, 7-2 at Presley Askew Field tonight. Neda was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, while Las Cruces High School product Honeycutt went 3-for-3 with three RBI. The Lobos handed the Aggies their first loss of the season, 7-1, and improved to 9-2 on the season.
The sophomore pair got the Lobos on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning. Neda led off the inning with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior Kevin Atkinson. Honeycutt followed up with a sacrifice fly to center to score Neda, 1-0.
New Mexico State tied the score in the bottom of the third when UNM reliever Jason Oatman gave up a two-run homer to Aggie Mike Sodders, 2-2.
But Oatman (1-1) got some support from his teammates in the top of the fifth to earn his first win of the season, in particular his catcher and left fielder. The catcher, Neda, put the Lobos ahead, 4-2, when he doubled in Max Willett and Brownstein. Two batters later the left fielder, Honeycutt, singled to right center driving in Neda and Hamilton to build the Lobo lead to 6-2.
New Mexico picked up one more run in the top of the ninth when Brownstein scored his third run of the game from the lead-off spot on a Neda single.
Oatman ended up throwing 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out five batters. Oatman came in for starter Ryan Escarcega in the bottom of the second. Escarcega left the game with an injury after throwing a solid hitless and scoreless 1.2 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Lobos return to action this weekend with a four-game series against Binghamton at Isotopes Park. Game time on Friday is set for 6 p.m. with Saturday's doubleheader set for 2 p.m. Sunday's series finale will begin at 12 p.m.