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Lobos Begin Four-Game Roadtrip at Arizona St.
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/11/2014

Lobo Baseball - Wednesday at Packard Stadium, Friday through Sunday at Pete Beiden Field
When: Wednesday at ASU - 7:30 p.m. (MT), Friday at Fresno State - 7:35 p.m. (MT), Saturday at Fresno State - 3:05 p.m. (MT), Sunday at Fresno State - 2:05 p.m. (MT)
Who: Wednesday at Arizona State Sun Devils and Friday through Sunday at Fresno State Bulldogs
GoLobos.com: Live stats, live stream, box score, postgame recap and stats
Video: Each game will be streamed live on GoLobos.com.
 

Mountain West Standings

PlaceSchoolMW recordOverall record
1 Fresno St. 5-1 11-4
1 UNLV 5-1 10-4
3 San Diego St. 4-2 11-4
4 Nevada 3-6 6-9
4 San Jose St. 2-4 5-12
4 New Mexico 1-2

9-6-1

7 Air Force 1-5

4-8


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - After playing 11 of its last 12 games at home, the UNM baseball team hits the road this week for four games. First stop for the Lobos is in Tempe, Ariz., to face Arizona State. The Lobos dominated the Sun Devils 7-1 back on Feb. 18 for only the program's ninth win ever in Tempe. Freshman Preston Ryan will make his first career start for the Lobos. Ryan only has one previous appearance this season, and that came on Feb. 16 at San Diego. He allowed two runs on two walks in 0.2 innings. He will be opposed by ASU's senior righty Zak Miller, who will also be making his first start of the season.

Following their game against the Sun Devils, the Lobos will travel to play Fresno State. The Lobos will face a tall task in climbing back up the Mountain West standings as the Bulldogs are currently tied atop the league with a 5-1 record, and an impressive 11-4 record overall. Fresno State's record should come with a caveat, though, as 11 of its 15 games have been decided by one or two runs. The Bulldogs sport an 8-3 record in those games.

Fresno State is led by its pitching staff, and its ace is junior Jordan Brink. The former position player boasts a 1.88 ERA and has held opponents to a .162 batting average in 28.2 innings this season. In two home starts this year he has given up just one run on five hits and five walks while striking out nine in 15.1 innings.

The Bulldogs are led offensively by C/DH Taylor Ward, whose .377 average, 23 hits, two home runs, 16 RBIs, 33 total bases and .541 slugging percentage all lead the team. Jordan Luplow, Trent Woodward and Chris Mariscal are hitting .328, .320 and .305, respectively, in support. As a team Fresno State does not walk much (just 45 free passes drawn) and strikes out a lot (a MW-leading 118). In order to shut down the Bulldogs' attack, the Lobos will look to continue to get strong showings from its weekend starters: Drew Bridges (2-1, 2.45), Colton Thomson (1-2, 2.74) and Josh Walker (2-1, 3.56).


• SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE ... After suffering four losses in their first six games of the season, including a 7-1 setback to UNM on Feb. 18, the Sun Devils appear to have righted the ship with five straight wins ahead of two close losses to Tennessee last weekend. ASU comes into the game with a record of just 4-3 at home.

Sophomore outfielder Johnny Sewald and sophomore catcher RJ Ybarra lead the regulars with averages of .387 and .378, respectively. Collectively ASU is batting .286 and slugging .389, but is scoring just 5.6 runs per game.

Redshirt senior Zak Miller is likely to get the start on the mound for the Sun Devils. He is 1-0 with a 7.50 ERA in two appearances, which were both in relief, this season. In 6.0 innings he has allowed five runs, all earned, on seven hits and five walks. The bullpen is led by a pair of freshman. Hever Bueno has made five appearances this season and has given up just two hits and one unearned run, and Eder Erives leads the team with six appearances and boasts a 2.25 ERA with 11 strikeouts (and just one walk) in 8.0 innings.

• SCOUTING FRESNO STATE ... The Bulldogs are coming off a series win over Air Force. After losing the first game 6-2, Fresno State rallied for two wins Sunday to remain tied for first place in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs are led offensively by C/DH Taylor Ward, whose 3.77 average, 23 hits, two home runs, 16 RBIs, 33 total bases and .541 slugging percentage all lead the team. Jordan Luplow, Trent Woodward and Chris Mariscal are hitting .328, .320 and .305, respectively, in support. As a team Fresno State does not walk much (just 45 free passes drawn) and strikes out a lot (a MW-leading 118).

Fresno’s true strength lies in its pitching depth. Jordan Brink (2-1, 1.88) is holding opponents to a .162 batting average and is the team’s ace. The Bulldogs are holding opponents to a .224 batting average as a staff and boast a team ERA of 3.00, second in the conference. Jake Shull (1-1, 1.69, 4 sv) and Derick Velazquez (2-0, 0.00, 7 app) anchor the bullpen, as the Bulldogs have used only four pitchers that have made more than three relief appearances.

• WALKER IS JUST A NAME ... Josh Walker has always had good control, but in 2014 he has taken it to a next level. He currently leads the nation with the most innings pitched (30.1) without having issued a walk. In fact, he has faced 102 batters in his three home starts this season and reached only nine three-ball counts.

• COLLIER GETTING THE CALL ... Freshman Danny Collier out of Sandia HS has started six straight games for the Lobos entering this week’s contests, and he’s making the most of his opportunities. Over the last seven games he is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with four runs, four RBIs, three walks and two steals. Coach Birmingham called him one of the biggest surprises of fall camp, and Collier is continuing his strong play early in the 2014 season.

• BAD LUCK WITH BASES LOADED ... UNM has uncharacteristically struggled with the bases loaded this season, hitting just .161 (5-for-31). Chase Harris (2-for-5) is the only Lobo 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.

• HOLLEY HBP ... AGAIN ... It’s amazing that the smallest player on the Lobos, 5’6 Jared Holley, led the team with 15 HBP as a freshman in 2013, and he’s currently leading the team with five this season. That gives him 20 over the first 66 games of his career, and he’s already sniffing the top 10 in UNM history. With two more he’ll catch Scott Gracey in 10th place, and he’s already more than halfway to the school record of 38 set by Joe Salas from 2001-04.

• NO RIGHT OF WAY ... Lobo pitchers are holding opposing right-handed batters to a .244 average so far this season. Drew Bridges, Tyler Gibson, Victor Sanchez, Carson Schneider and Colton Thomson are all holding opponent righties under .200. Meanwhile, Lobo batters are hitting .323 against right-handed pitching, led by Jared Holley’s .405 average and Alex Real’s mark of .395.

• FOLLOW MY LEAD ... The Lobos have had their leadoff man reach in 58 of 147 innings this season for an inning-starting OBP of .395.

• 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 .383 (23-for-60) while occupying the last place in the lineup. Jared Holley leads the group with a .409 average (18-for-44) while batting ninth. In fact, that spot in the order has procuded the second most total bases on the team (27), behind only the No. 3 spot (35), which has been occupied by Chase Harris in each game this season.

• FANS FLOCK TO LOBO FIELD ... There’s no denying that UNM is becoming a baseball school with a loyal fan base. That was evidenced during the Lobos’ first home weekend of the season when 2,965 fans came to the Lobo Invite: the largest three-day crowd in Lobo Field history.

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