April 21, 2008
Up Next For Lobo Baseball
Games #42-43 at Arizona
Tuesday, April 22 7 p.m. (MDT)
Wednesday, April 23 1 p.m. (MDT)
Jerry Kindall Park at Frank Sancet Stadium Tucson, Ariz.
Live Stats: Link available on GoLobos.com.
Against Arizona: Arizona holds a 153-33 series lead over the Lobos, including two wins last week in Albuquerque - 10-6 and 4-2.
Up Next: The Lobos host No. 16 UC Irvine at Isotopes Park on Friday-Sunday, April 25-27. Sunday is Youth Day at the ballpark.
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
LOBOS IN FIRST PLACE ... New Mexico is currently tied for first place in the Mountain West Conference with TCU at 11-4, thanks to back-to-back series sweeps of Air Force and Utah. MWC series remaining on the schedule - at BYU (May 1-3), at UNLV (May 9-11), vs. TCU (May 15-17).
LOBOS IN COACHES POLL FOR THIRD TIME ... UNM is getting some recognition from the coaches who vote on the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll. For a third time this season, the Lobos are receiving votes at 27-14 on April 21. UNM received votes in the poll on March 3 after a quick 7-1 start, then again on April 7, at 20-11.
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 10 ... Lobo fans aren't just watching the scoreboard for the score. Fans are watching for the Lobos to reach10 hits in a game. Why? The Lobos are 24-3 on the season when they get at least 10 hits in a game. Just 3-11 when they don't get to 10. The Lobos' season-high is 28 hits against Air Force on April 12 in Farmington. The season-low is 3 against then-No. 1 Arizona State on March 4. If the Lobos also reach 10 runs, they are 13-0 on the season.
PARKING FOR UC IRVINE ... With nationally-ranked UC Irvine in town and the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow across the street at The Pit, Lobo fans will want to take a little extra time getting to the ballpark this weekend.
NEW MEXICO AT A GLANCE (27-14, 11-4 MWC) ... The Lobos are currently tied with TCU for first place in the Mountain West Conference and will spend the last four weeks of the regular season fighting for a conference championship and a stronger RPI ... The majority of the Lobos remaining schedule is against Mountain West Conference competition (9 games) ... This week, UNM will play five non-conference games against Top 5 team UC Irvine and Pac-10 power Arizona for good measure ... UNM received votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll for the third time this season on April 21 and holds an unofficial RPI of 53 going into the U of A series ... The Lobos have put together two seven-game winning streaks this season ... Junior Brian Cavazos-Galvez leads the team in batting with a .368 average ... The right side of the infield, first baseman Kevin Atkinson and second baseman Mike Brownstein, have started every game for the Lobos in 2008 ... The weekend pitching has stabilized with seniors Bobby LaFromboise, Jacob Norton and Stephen Smith leading the way ... Norton became the Lobos first 5-game winner on April 19 against Utah ... Closer Clinton Cox leads the Lobo pitching staff with 17 appearances ... John Hesketh and Will Kerr have been solid mid-week starters.
ARIZONA AT A GLANCE (25-11, 6-6 PAC-10) ... The Wildcats are on a 10-game win streak and have won 12 of their last 14 games ... After spending the majority of the 2008 season on the road, Arizona will have home games every week for the remainder of the season, with only two Pac-10 road series at Oregon State and California ... Freshman Bryce Ortega leads the Wildcats with a .354 batting average, while starting 28 games ... Mid-week starters for Arizona have been Mike Colla and a variety of others.
CHANGING HIS TUNE ... When Lobo first baseman Kevin Atkinson asked to change his walk-up song 22 games into the season, the deal was that he had to start hitting better ... So far, so good ... Before the song change, Atkinson was hitting .319 with 13 runs, 30 hits, 12 RBI, 8 doubles, no triples, 1 home run, 2 walks, and 12 strikouts in 22 games ... 19 games into the change, the Surrey, B.C., Canada native is hitting .380 with 26 runs, 30 hits, 25 RBI, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 8 home runs, 7 walks, and 5 strikeouts ... So what was the change in tunes? From the Top Gun Anthem to Rockstar by R. Kelly featuring Kid Rock and Ludacris.
CLOSING TIME WITH COX ... Junior closer Clinton Cox is a nominee for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award for the work he has done for the Lobos in 2008 ... Cox leads UNM in appearances with 17 and has a 2-0 record to go along with two saves ... The Rock Springs, Wyo., resident picked up his second win of the season on April 18 against Utah, 5-4 in 12 innings, withe 3.1 innings of relief work ... Against San Diego State on April 3, Cox picked up his first win of the season with 2.1 innings of relief work in a 5-4 win ... Cox has a 2.81 ERA in 32.0 innings pitched with 8 walks and 20 strikeouts ... Cox is fourth in the Mountain West Conference in games finished with 13.
FINISHING THE JOB ... Lobo starting pitchers have been keeping the bullpen, including Cox, on the shelf lately ... UNM has four complete games on the season ... Transfer Will Kerr got things started with a complete game 12-3 win over Vermont on March 28 ... After not making an appearance for two weeks, senior Bobby LaFromboise has returned to the mound with a vengance ... In two straight appearances, the Roger Clemens Award candidate has thrown two complete games - a 5-2 win at San Diego State on April 4 and a 7-1 win over Air Force on April 11, seven days later ... Senior Stephen Smith worked the Lobos fourth complete game of the season on April 13 with a 13-3 win over Air Force.
MR. CONSISTENT ... No matter who leads the Lobos in batting average during the season, Matt Hibbitts will be right there in the mix ... The senior from Portland, Ore., is third in hitting with a .341 average and 56 hits ... He also has 36 runs scored and 11 doubles ... Hibbitts spends his days roaming left field on defense, after starting the season at third base for the injured Ian Hollick.
A CAREER MAN ... Third baseman Ian Hollick has started 187 games and played in 203 games over his four-year career with the Lobos ... Hollick has gradually worked his way back into the UNM starting lineup after having wrist surgery in early February ... His best game so far this season was on April 12 against Air Force with a 4-of-5 performance at the plate with two runs, two RBI, a double and a home run ... He also had five assists in the game from third base.
TURNING TWO ... The Lobos currently lead the nation in double plays turned with 49 after the Arizona series ... First baseman Kevin Atkinson leads the way, having a part in 42, while shortstop Scott Gracey has turned 33, and Mike Brownstein 30.
PLAYING THE BEST TO BE THE BEST ... The Lobos have a tough non-conference schedule to go along with a solid Mountain West Conference schedule. UNM has already faced two Top 25 teams in Arizona State and California, with Arizona on April 22-23 and UC Irvine coming up April 25-27.