March 3, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico baseball team lost to 16th-ranked Oklahoma 10-5 on another chilly night at Isotopes Park in front of 1,533 fans Saturday. The Sooners did most of their damage with the bottom of their lineup in the fourth and fifth innings. They scored three runs in the fourth on five-straight hits, and scored four more in the fifth, with the big blow coming by way of a monster three-run home run by number-eight hitter Cody Reine. Reine finished the night 4-4 with three doubles, four runs scored, and four RBIs.
Rudy Jaramillo suffered his first loss of the season after allowing five runs, four of them earned, on nine hits. He struck out four and walked one. The game was put out of reach, however, when Bobby Mares came on in the fifth, and only managed to record one out while allowing those four runs.
"We have to pitch a lot better," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "We're giving up way too many hits. OU is OU and they've got tremendous pitching, but we've got to be able to keep the ballgame in hand on the (mound)."
For the seventh straight game the Lobos allowed at least one run in the first inning. UNM right fielder John Pustay had to look up into a blinding sun and misjudged a high fly to allow Caleb Bushyhead to score.
The Lobos struck back to take the lead, however, in the bottom of the frame. Ben Woodchick was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the inning. Two batters later Josh Melendez walked. Mitchell Garver drove home Woodchick with a liner to right, and then Erik Suarez knocked in Melendez with a looping base single to left.
Oklahoma starter Steven Okert settled in after that rough start, however, and did not allow another baserunner until Woodchick walked with one out in the fifth inning. Woodchick ended the day 2-3, with the walk and hit-by-pitch, and scored three of the Lobos five runs.
The Lobos tried to claw their way back after Damien Magnifico relieved Okert to start the seventh inning. They managed to score three runs of the 100 mph-throwing closer for the Sooners, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
"I thought the team competed well everywhere but on the mound," Birmingham said. "(Okert) was throwing really well; he's going to be a high draft pick. And the kid that closed (Magnifico) is going to be a high draft pick, too. We're scratching runs off some good pitching. We've got to pitch. We've got to keep the game in control on the mound."
Austin House is the probable starter for the Lobos as they try to prevent the series sweep on Sunday. The game's start has been moved up to noon to accommodate Oklahoma's travel schedule.