Lobos Drop Series Finale to Riverside 14-9
March 10, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico baseball team suffered a rough 14-9 defeat at the hands of the UC Riverside Highlanders Sunday afternoon to split the four-game series. The Lobos (6-8) fell behind early 10-0 in large part to a seven-run third the Highlanders (9-7) put up.
Coming into Sunday's contest the Lobos had pounded out 81 hits over the previous five games, but they managed only two in the first five innings against Riverside's starter, Mitch Patito. They finished with nine as DJ Peterson, Mitch Garver, and Jared Holley all recorded two apiece.
In what has become a disturbing trend, though, the Lobos' pitching let them down. For the sixth straight game UNM's starting pitcher failed to make it out of the fourth inning. This time Sam Wolff was the culprit as he allowed nine runs, seven earned, in 2 2/3 innings despite striking out five.
"We're still trying to figure (the pitching) out right now," Garver said. "Early in the year the bullpen was not so hot, and now it's the starting that's not so hot. What I think it boils down to is walks. ... That's just free runners we're giving up."
Lobo pitchers walked 26 men in the four-game series and hit six others.
"(The pitching) has been kind of hit or miss," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "We can't (expect to) score 15 runs a game, you just can't."
By the time the Lobos got on the board in the sixth thanks to back-to-back doubles by Peterson and Garver they were already trailing 12-0 and they couldn't recover.
UNM added four unearned runs in the seventh and four more runs in the ninth to make the final somewhat respectable, but the outcome was never really in doubt.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for UNM from here on out. The Lobos travel this week to play at nationally-ranked Arizona State on Wednesday and then open Mountain West play Friday at a UNLV squad that just took a series from No. 9 Stanford.
"It's definitely still early in the season," Garver said. "We don't have that feeling of panic at all. We know we're good. We were ranked in the preseason for a reason, and we're just going to let it ride out."
Notes: Garver and Luke Campbell both extended their hitting streaks to 13 games apiece ... Josh Melendez walked and has now reached base in every game this season ... Peterson finished the series with a line of .800/.857/1.867 and nine runs, six RBI, two doubles, a triple, four home runs, six walks, and a stolen base.