Lobos Head to Las Cruces to Face Aggies
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/24/2014

Lobo Baseball - at Preseley Askew Field, Las Cruces, N.M.
When: Tuesday - 3:05 p.m. (MT)
Who: New Mexico State Aggies
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Mountain West Standings

PlaceSchoolMW recordOverall record
1 UNLV 9-3 16-7
2 New Mexico 6-3 16-8-1
3 San Diego St. 5-4 17-6
3 Fresno St. 5-4 15-9
5 Nevada 6-6 12-11
5 San José St. 4-8


7 Air Force 1-8


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico and New Mexico State have a long history on the diamond that dates back to 1948. After a brief hiatus, the series continued with a pair of games in 1955, and since 1958 the teams have met at least once every season. The Lobos hold the upper hand with a record of 152-81, but the Aggies have had success in Las Cruces lately, winning the last five games there. Hoping to reverse that trend, the Lobos will turn to senior righty A.J. Carman, who makes his first start of the season on the mound. Carman, who made 14 starts a season ago, is second on the team with eight relief appearances and owns a 2-0 record in 12.2 innings.

The Aggies will counter with a senior right hander of their own in Kyle Kilgore, who will be making his sixth start of the season. He is 2-1 with a 7.78 ERA, but has pitched only 19.2 innings this season, so it's likely NMSU will use a staff approach to the Lobos, with almost no pitcher off limits.

Both teams seem to be trending upwards of late. The Lobos saw their six-game winning streak snapped on Saturday against San Jose State, but UNM has won seven of its past eight ballgames. The Aggies are on a mini two-game winning streak as they opened WAC play with a series win over Texas-Pan American. The wins followed a stretch that saw NMSU lose eight of nine and 11 of 13.

Tuesday's game will mark the first at home for the Aggies in over three weeks. They're 7-5 at Presley Askew Field while the Lobos are 5-4 away from Albuquerque this season.

• SCOUTING NEW MEXICO STATE ... The Aggies are coming off back-to-back wins after a stretch that saw them lose eight of nine and 11 of 13. Offensively they’re led by the Koerper brothers, Joseph and Kristoffer, who are hitting .359 and .341, respectively. Kristoffer also leads the team in runs, hits, doubles, RBIs, total bases, slugging and is tied for the lead in home runs. NMSU is hitting .266 as a team, and although the Aggies strike out a lot (174 times in 23 games), they also draw a lot of walks (129).

Senior Kyle Kilgore will make his sixth start of the season. He is 2-1 with a 7.78 ERA and has allowed 44 baserunners (27 hits, 14 walks, three HBP) in 19.2 innings this season. One of NMSU’s best pitchers has been its closer, Trey Gonzales. He owns a 1.69 ERA and four saves in 10.2 innings. Riley Barr is the Aggies’ go-to reliever out of the bullpen, having made 11 appearances. He is 3-0 with a 3.22 ERA. Overall the staff has a 5.10 ERA and has allowed opponents to hit .296.

• 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 currently owns the longest streak in the nation for games with double-digit hits at eight straight games. That ties the longest streak in the nation this season, which is held by three other teams: San Diego, McNeese State and Saint Joseph’s.

• ‘BOS KNOW PITCHING ... If the UNM pitching staff can maintain its current 3.81 ERA over the rest of the season, it will post the third lowest ERA in the history of the program. The 1968 team posted a 2.87 ERA and in 1969 the Lobos had a 3.40 ERA. 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 2.55 ERA while holding opponents to a .255 batting average at Lobo Field.

• WALKER IS JUST A NAME ... Josh Walker has always had good control, but in 2014 he has taken it to a next level. He went 39.2 innings to start the year before he issued his first walk, which came against San Jose State on March 23.

• BAD LUCK WITH BASES LOADED ... UNM has uncharacteristically struggled with the bases loaded this season, hitting just .250 (12-for-48). Chase Harris (4-for-8) and Andre Vigil (2-for-2) are the only Lobos with more than one hit with the bases juiced in 2014. For comparison’s sake UNM hit .333 in such situations last season, .364 in 2011 and .345 in 2010.

• 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 ... Sixteen. That’s how many straight scoreless innings Josh Walker threw over his two starts on Feb. 23 and March 2. Walker actually made it 16.2 innings before allowing a sacrifice fly to break the streak. It was the longest scoreless innings streak for a UNM pitcher since Bobby LaFromboise threw 20 straight without allowing a run from Feb. 16 to March 2, 2007.

• FOLLOW MY LEAD ... The Lobos have had their leadoff man reach in 87 of 224 innings this season for an inning-starting OBP of .388.

• NO WEAK SPOTS IN THIS LINEUP ... The Lobo offense rolls nine deep, and nothing proves that more than the production they get out of the No. 9 spot in their order. Five Lobos have combined to hit a team-high .371 (33-for-89) while occupying the last place in the lineup. Jared Holley leads the group with a .409 average (18-for-44) while batting ninth and Aaron Siple is hitting .385 (10-for-26). The nine projected starters for Tuesday’s game at New Mexico State all have a batting average of .288 or better.