Lobo Baseball - at Midland, Texas (Tuesday), and at Lobo Fiel (Wednesday)
When: Tuesday - 5 p.m. (MT), Wednesday - 6 p.m. (MT)
Who: No. 25 Texas Tech Red Raiders (Tuesday), and New Mexico State Aggies (Wednesday)
GoLobos.com: Live stats,box score, live stream (Wednesday only), postgame recap and stats
Radio: Wednesday's game against New Mexico State will be broadcast by ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM
Mountain West Standings
|Place||School||MW record||Overall record|
|3||San Diego St.||7-5||21-7|
|5||San José St.||4-8||
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Coming off a Mountain West series win at Air Force, the Lobos play midweek games against No. 25 Texas Tech in Midland, Texas, on Tuesday and against Rio Grande Rival New Mexico State at Lobo Field on Wednesday. The meeting in Midland will be UNM's first neutral-site game against the Red Raiders in the 108th meeting between the programs. UNM lost to Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, on March 4 by a score of 9-3. Since that time the Lobos have gone 11-5, and the Red Raiders posted a 12-6 mark.
It's also the second meeting of the season between the Lobos and Aggies. Just last week UNM defeated NMSU 14-4 as it pounded out 17 hits to earn its first road win against the Aggies since 2010. While the Lobos seems to be well on their way to their sixth season of 30 or more wins under head coach Ray Birmingham, New Mexico State (10-17) is trying to avoid its first losing season since 2008.
Senior righty A.J. Carman will make his second start of the season on Tuesday in Midland. He is 2-0 with 6.75 ERA in 14.2 innings. Freshman righty Preston Ryan (0-0, 12.00) will make his third career start in Wednesday's matchup with the Aggies.
Freshman third baseman Andre Vigil has been on fire of late. Since entering the starting lineup on March 14 against Fresno State, he is hitting .435 (20-for-46) with hits in 11 of the 12 games since then. He has driven in 14 runs, scored nine more and slugged .500. Part of his success stems from his ability to put the ball in play, as he has struck out just four times in 52 plate appearances during that time.
• GAME TIME CHANGE ... Please note that UNM’s game vs. New Mexico State this Wednesday at Lobo Field will now start at 6 p.m. instead of 3 p.m.
• SCOUTING TEXAS TECH ... The Red Raiders are coming off a home series loss to No. 12 Texas last weekend. An 8-4 win was sandwiched between an 11-1 loss on Friday and a 5-2, 12-inning loss Sunday afternoon. TTU is hitting .283 as a team, led by Eric Gutierrez at .321 and Adam Kirsch at .317. Alec Humphreys is hitting .345, but has only started 14 games. Gutierrez leads the team in home runs while Kirsch leads the squad with 15 doubles. They are averaging just under six runs per game, but have been shut out four times in 31 contests this season.
The pitching staff owns a 3.06 ERA, led by Johnny Drozd’s 1.39 ERA in 32.1 innings over 13 relief appearances. He has two saves and has 23 strikeouts versus eight walks. Ryan Moseley also has two saves, and in 24.0 innings over 12 relief appearances he has a 1.12 ERA with 21 strikeouts and four walks. Projected starter Dylan Dusek will make his sixth start of the season. The southpaw is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 26.2 innings. He has struck out 16 and walked just one while holding batters to a .232 batting average against. He started against UNM on March 4 and allowed two runs on seven hits with one strikeout in 4.2 innings.
• SCOUTING NEW MEXICO STATE ... The Aggies have lost four straight, beginning with last Tuesday’s 14-4 loss to UNM. They were then swept at home over the weekend by Sacramento State, getting outscored 39-8 in the process. The Koerper brothers, Joseph and Kristoffer, lead the team in hitting at .333 and .330, respectively, while Kristoffer leads the team with 34 hits, three home runs and 21 RBIs. Ryan Wagner also has three home runs, and Derek Umphres is hitting .320 witha team-high seven doubles.
NMSU’s pitchers have struggled in 2014, posting a 5.76 ERA, allowing 7.3 runs per game and letting opponents hit .314 against them. Reliever Riley Barr has been on the best pitchers on the staff. He is 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in 12 relief appearances spanning 26.1 innings.
• THE MAGIC NUMBER ... Six appears to be UNM’s magic number for both the offense and pitching staff this season. The Lobos are 15-0 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 36-4 in the fifth inning this season and have yet to allow a run in that frame at home. Two of the three runs UNM allowed came in the third game of the season, so since Feb. 18 the Lobos have a +34 run differential in the fifth inning.
• 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 3.88 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.