Feb. 27, 2004
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The New Mexico baseball team opened the Domino's Pizza Aggie Classic in winning fashion Friday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over previously undefeated Arkansas. The Razorbacks, who were receiving votes in the SportsWeekly/ESPN Coaches Poll and stood at 28th in the country, fell to 8-1, while the Lobos improved to 1-2-1.
Junior Jason Fernandez (Albuquerque, N.M.), in his first UNM start, fired a six-hit complete game on four strikeouts and just two walks. Fernandez was effective all game, limiting the powerful Arkansas offense - which was averaging 11.8 runs per game and 13.3 hits per game - to just one run, which was a season-low for the Razorbacks.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the eighth, shortstop Josh Mader (Albuquerque, N.M.) broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run single, giving the Lobos a 3-1 advantage. Mader was 2-for-4 in the game.
The Razorbacks also loaded the bases in the bottom half of the eighth, but Fernandez came up big, striking out the No. 3 hitter and getting the cleanup batter to ground into a force out to end the threat.
Arkansas was undefeated at 8-0 and ranked No. 28 in the SportsWeekly/ESPN Coaches Poll before falling to the Lobos on Friday, 3-1.
New Mexico appeared to have blown a major scoring chance in the seventh. After loading the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk, the Lobos gave away the opportunity to take the lead on a strikeout and a double play.
UNM took advantage of an Arkansas error to score the first run of the game in the fourth. Leadoff hitter Matt Young, who led off the inning with a single, scored from third with two outs after Razorback shortstop Scott Hode bobbled the ball and Sean Murray beat out the throw to first. Young ended the game 2-for-4 with two runs and is batting 8-for-15 (.533) for the season.
Arkansas scored its lone run in the sixth. Devin Day led off the inning with a double, advanced to third on a flyout, and beat out a throw to home from second baseman Ryan Barba on an infield grounder to tie the game at 1-1.
New Mexico returns to action tonight to face No. 20 Texas A&M at 7 p.m. CT.