May 1, 2009
Friday: Lobos 8, UNLV 4
Up Next: 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Isotopes Park; Noon, Sunday, Lobo Field
Online: GameTracker, live video, recaps on GoLobos.com
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Possibly, the most surprised Lobo on the field after Rudy Jaramillo threw a complete-game, 8-4 Mountain West Conference win over the UNLV Rebels Friday at Isotopes Park was the Lobo on the mound.
Jaramillo said he lasted about four innings longer than what he first thought.
"After the first inning, I thought it might be a five-inning day," said Jaramillo, a New Mexico freshman from Chandler, Ariz. "I didn't feel like I had my best stuff starting out, but as the game progressed, I got control of my change-up and my curveball."
Said Lobo coach Ray Birmingham: "We came into the season knowing our Achilles Heel was our starting pitching and at times we'd have to use duct tape and baling wire. But Rudy made it easy for us today."
The first inning really wasn't so bad for Jaramillo. He shut out the Rebs and UNM took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The second inning wasn't as smooth for Jaramillo as he gave up two runs to the visitors from Las Vegas and UNM fell behind 2-1 and then 3-1 in the fifth.
Then the Lobos exploded. They pushed across five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-3 lead and expanded that margin to 8-3 by the bottom of the seventh.
"It was nice to have a big win and a big crowd," said Lobo senior Mike Brownstein, who went 3-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored. "It was impressive to see a freshman come in there and throw our first complete game of the season. We needed that."
The Lobos' five-run fifth was produced off hits by Courcha, Brownstein, Max Willett, Honeycutt (home run), Neda and Cavazos-Galvez. Courcha, who began the rally, ended it by hitting into a base-loaded double play.
But since Jaramillo had found his "stuff," that was more than enough runs for the Lobos on this day.
"We need pitching like that. Rudy is a gamer and we love that," said Brownstein.
The win pushes UNM's season record to 32-14 and 12-6 in the Mountain West. The Rebs fall to 23-23 and 7-9 in league play. The teams play at Isotopes Park at 1:30 on Saturday and move across the street to Lobo Field for a noon start on Sunday. Sunday is Youth Day at Lobo Field and all youth tickets go for $1.
This is the final home weekend for 10 Lobo seniors: Kevin Atkinson, Mike Brownstein, Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Clinton Cox, Daniel Grubbs, Dane Hamilton, John Hesketh, Brandon Hewett, Will Kerr and Bobby Moore.
The Lobos' win over UNLV snapped a two-game losing skid picked up at Nebraska. The UNLV series is the final home games for the Lobos. They finish the season with a seven-game road swing to Stanford, St. Mary's and Air Force, before entering the MWC tournament.
"It was huge that we came out and got this first game because we need to start building momentum for the tournament," said Brownstein. "There are games we should win and games we need to win and this game was one of them."
Jarmramillo picked up the win with six strikeouts against no walks. He scattered 12 hits over the nine innings of work.
"I gave up some hits, but my defense was backing me up," said the UNM freshman.