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A Second Look: Padilla's Big Start
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  07/24/2012
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

July 24, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Coming into the 2012 season freshman Ryan Padilla was unsure how much he would play. He had struggled during fall ball and was having difficulties adjusting to collegiate pitching.

It didn’t take him long to adjust, however, and when he did he took off.

The Albuquerque-native did not start in either of the Lobos’ first two games of the season, but he played a key role nonetheless.

He came on as a pinch hitter against Nevada in the second game and was somewhat fittingly hit by a pitch. He led the Lobos by getting plunked 13 times this season.

Padilla’s second at bat was where he made his mark, though.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning and runners on the corners with one out, he went the other way and lofted a sacrifice fly that allowed the eventual winning run to score.

His successful at bat led to him getting more opportunities as he started seven games over the next three weeks, which included a pair of three-hit performances. He entered the starting lineup for good on March 13 against New Mexico State and he never looked back.

He began a season-best 15-game hitting streak that night against the Aggies, which included a stretch of seven straight games with at least two hits.

He hit .415 (27-for-65) over those 15 games with 19 runs, 11 RBIs, six doubles, and his first career home run against Fresno State on April 1. Following the streak, he failed to record at least one hit in only eight more games the rest of the season.

He finished the season third on the Lobos in batting (.353), doubles (19), home runs (five), RBIs (49), slugging (.525), and on base percentage (.430).

His success earned him second team All-Mountain West honors as well as Freshman All-American honors by Collegiate Baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, PerfectGame.org, and Baseball America.

Padilla is currently playing in the Northwoods League, a summer league comprised of top collegiate players from across the country. The players use wood bats and regulation minor league baseballs to replicate playing in a professional setting, and he has enjoyed solid success so far. In 36 games for the Alexandria Beetles he is hitting .269 with 23 runs, 27 RBIs, nine doubles, and six home runs.

The 2012 season was just the beginning for the La Cueva product, though. He has a chance to be the next great player from the state of New Mexico to play for head coach Ray Birmingham and will play a big part in any success the Lobos enjoy in 2013.

Friday, April 18
TBA - 
Baseball
at San JosÚ St.
4:00 PM - 
Baseball
vs. San JosÚ St.
Saturday, April 19
2:00 PM - 
Baseball
at San JosÚ St.
Monday, April 21
2:00 PM - 
Baseball
vs. Texas Tech
Friday, April 25
7:05 PM - 
Baseball
at UNLV
Saturday, April 26
2:05 PM - 
Baseball
at UNLV
Sunday, April 27
2:05 PM - 
Baseball
at UNLV
Friday, May 02
6:00 PM - 
Baseball
vs. San Diego St.
Saturday, May 03
2:00 PM - 
Baseball
vs. San Diego St.
Sunday, May 04
1:00 PM - 
Baseball
vs. San Diego St.
Monday, May 05
1:00 PM - 
Baseball
vs. Utah Valley
Friday, May 09
7:00 PM - 
Baseball
at Nevada
Saturday, May 10
7:00 PM - 
Baseball
at Nevada
Sunday, May 11
2:00 PM - 
Baseball
at Nevada
Thursday, May 15
6:00 PM - 
Baseball
vs. Air Force
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