Lobos Face Tough Test With Visiting Gamecocks
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/03/2014

Lobo Baseball -  at Lobo Field
When: Friday - 6 p.m. (MT), Saturday - 2 p.m. (MT), Sunday - 1 p.m. (MT)
Who: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
GoLobos.com: Live stats,box score, live stream, postgame recap and stats
Video: All three games will be streamed live at GoLobos.com
Radio: ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM will broadcast each game

Mountain West Standings

PlaceSchoolMW recordOverall record
1 UNLV 9-3 20-8
2 New Mexico 8-4 20-10-1
3 San Diego St. 7-5 21-8
4 Fresno St. 6-6 16-13
4 Nevada 6-6 13-13
5 San José St. 4-8


7 Air Force 1-8


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Lobos welcome Jacksonville State to Lobo Field this weekend for the first ever meeting between the two schools. The Gamecocks are currently in second place in the Ohio Valley Conference and, at 17-10 overall, should not be taken lightly. Winners of four straight and six of its last seven, JSU is a veteran team with 20 upper classmen on the roster, led by its weekend rotation of seniors Adam Polk (2-1, 4.40) and Taylor Shileds (3-2, 4.86) and junior Zachary Fowler (4-1, 2.89), and its closer, junior Travis Stout (1-0, 0.55, 8 saves). Polk started the Gamecock's win over Eastern Illinois Wednesday and earned the win despite only pitching two innings. 

The offense also boasts veteran leadership in the form of senior outfielder Griff Gordon (.328) and senior second baseman Eddie Mora-Loera (.330). Gordon is one of only two players on the roster to have started all 28 games, and leads the team in hits, RBIs and total bases. Mora-Loera leads the team with eight doubles and is slugging .500. Sophomore first baseman Paschal Petrongolo leads the team in slugging at .526 thanks in part to a whopping six triples.

The Gamecocks also like to run, and they are good at it. Leading the way is sophomore shortstop Gavin Golsan, who is 18-for-19 stealing bases and senior outfielder Michael Bishop is 8-for-8 while as a team JSU is 45-for-54.

UNM is coming off a midweek split with Texas Tech and New Mexcio State. The Lobos lost to the Red Raiders 6-3 in Midland, Texas, on Tuesday before returning home to pound the Aggies 17-7 Wednesday evening. Senior Chase Harris has multiple hits in six of the last eight games, and is hitting .453 (24-for-53) 15 runs and 17 RBIs over his last 13 contests.

Sunday starter Josh Walker is looking for his 24th career win, which would move him into a tie for second place on UNM's all-time list with Bob McAulay.

• PROMOTIONS THIS WEEKEND ... You don't want to miss any of the action at Lobo Field this weekend as there will be promotions each day! Friday night will be a Red Out as any fans wearing red will receive a ticket for just $3, and the first 500 fans will receive a foam finger! Saturday will feature $1 hot dogs at the concession stand and Zoo Day. The ABQ Bio Park will bring it's Zoo To You van to the plaza between baseball and softball so fans can get an up close view of some animals from the zoo! Sunday is Carinval Day at Lobo Field! All youth will receive $2 tickets and there will be a bounce house and face painter! Dairy Queen will also be on hand to give out coupons!

• SCOUTING JACKSONVILLE STATE ... The Gamecocks are currently in second place in the Ohio Valley Conference and have put up some decent numbers. albeit against less-than-stellar competition. Senior outfielder Griff Gordon paces the offense with a .328 average, eight doubles, two home runs and 25 RBIs. He’s one of only two players for JSU to have started all 28 games. Eddie Mora-Loera (.330) and Ryan Serba (.307) are also hitting over .300 as the Gamecocks have a .289 team batting average. It’s a well-rounded unit as no one player is asked to carry the load alone. JSU is averaging 6.7 runs per game. On the basepaths, the Lobos will need to keep an eye on Gavin Golsan (18-for-19 stealing bases) and Michael Bishop (8-for-8) as JSU likes to run and is good at it (45-for-54 as a team).

The pitching staff owns a 4.59 ERA and is led by likely Saturday starter Zachary Fowler. The junior is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven starts. He has struck out a team-high 29 in a team-high 37.1 innings. Right behind him is the likely Sunday starter, Taylor Shields, at 37.0 innings. Friday night starter Adam Polk also has 29 strikeouts and owns a 4.40 ERA in 30.2 innings. The bullpen is led by junior closer Travis Stout. The righty is 1-0 with eight saves and a 0.55 ERA in 16.1 innings over 11 appearances. He has struck out 12 and is holding opponents to a .170 batting average.

• CHASING HARRIS ... With all the offensive talent UNM lost from last season’s team, the Lobos needed Chase Harris to become The Man for them in 2014, and that is exactly what he has done. He currently leads the nation in at bats with 135, he is tied for the national lead with 51 hits, and he ranks third in the country with 36 RBIs. Meanwhile his .378 batting average and 71 total bases are both tops in the Mountain West, as are his 16 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI games. He also leads the Lobos in home runs and triples with three apiece, slugging (.526), OBP (.431) and stolen bases (seven).

• WE WERE ONLY FRESHMEN ... The Lobos have received key contributions from many first-year players in 2014, but Danny Collier and Andre Vigil stand above the rest. Despite not starting when the season began, they now rank second and sixth on the team in batting at .341 and .321, respectively. Collier has reached base in 22 straight games while walking more than he has struck out. He has also yet to make an error in left field this season, and has two outfield assists, including one at home plate against San Jose State on March 22.
Vigil, meanwhile, is third on the team with five multi-RBI games, and had a 10-game hitting streak from March 14 to March 28. He hit .450 (18-for-40) during that stretch with nine runs, 12 RBIs and three doubles. He had five multi-hit games and struck out just three times in 44 plate appearances.

• THE MAGIC NUMBER ... Six appears to be UNM’s magic number for both the offense and pitching staff this season. The Lobos are 16-0 when scoring at least six runs and 17-2-1 when holding the opponent under six runs.

• FIFTH-INNING DOMINATION... The Lobos have outscored opponents are whopping 45-10 in the fifth inning this season. They did not allow a single run in that frame at home until April 2.

• HARRIS NAMED MW POW ... Chase Harris earned his first career Mountain West Player of the Week award for his play against No. 18 Kansas and San Jose State the week of March 17-23. The Lobos’ senior right fielder hit .526 (10-for-19) with seven runs and eight RBIs as the Lobos went 4-1 on the week. He hit his third home run of the season in the first inning of UNM’s 9-4 win over SJSU on Sunday, March 23 as he slugged .684 on the week. He was perfect in 15 chances in the field, and threw out his second runner at the plate against Kansas on March 19. This is the third weekly MW honor of the season for the Lobos. Josh Walker and Victor Sanchez were named Mountain West Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 24 and March 17, respectively.

• HIT PARADE ... UNM saw its streak of 10 straight multi-hit games come to an end at Air Force on Saturday, March 29. It was the longest such streak in the nation this season. Also, the Lobos saw their 78-game streak of at least six hits come to an end in the same game.

• ‘BOS KNOW PITCHING ... If the UNM pitching staff can maintain its current 4.00 ERA over the rest of the season, it will post the fifth lowest ERA in the history of the program, and the lowest since 1976. The 2014 staff is doing this despite being on pace to set a school record for most innings pitched.
Despite pitching a mile above sea level, UNM has been excellent at home, posting a 2.81 ERA while holding opponents to a .254 batting average at Lobo Field.