April 13, 2008
FARMINGTON, N.M. --- Junior Kevin Atkinson powered the Lobo offense and Stephen Smith threw a complete game as the University of New Mexico baseball team beat Air Force, 13-3, at Ricketts Park. The Lobos improved to 24-12 overall and 8-4 in Mountain West Conference action. Air Force dropped to 11-22 and 0-11.
"We're playing some good baseball right now," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "We swung the bats pretty well. It was cold Friday night and we did okay. Then as it warmed up, we started hitting, and that's what we needed. The offense we showed the last two days is what we are capable. We match that up with the pitching that we have and we've got a chance."
Air Force got on the scoreboard first on a Ben Ausbun RBI double, 1-0.
New Mexico got the bats going in the fourth. Atkinson hit a three-run double to center field to put UNM ahead 3-1. Rafael Neda pushed Atkinson across the plate on a single and scored on a single by Scott Gracey, 5-1.
The Lobos added a run in the fifth, sixth, and seventh for an 8-3 lead. A five-run eighth, including a Brian Cavazos-Galvez home run, gave UNM the 13-3 win.
Atkinson led the Lobos at 4-of-5 from the plate with five RBI, a home run, two doubles, and two runs scored.
For Smith (3-1), it was his first complete game of the season and second of his Lobo career. Smith struck out seven, walked one, and gave up three runs on 10 hits. Jake Petro (1-5) took the loss for the Falcons.
The Lobos return to action on Tuesday night against Arizona. Game time at Isotopes Park is set for 6 p.m. Famous Texas Tech heckler Chris Snead will be in town for Sportsmanship Night at the ballpark.