Lobos Fall To Oklahoma; Host TCU Next
May 15, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. -- If you go by the rankings and the home-field advantage, it gets a tad easier for the New Mexico Lobos when the TCU Horned Frogs come to visit Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But only a tad...
The Horned Frogs are ranked No. 9 and the Oklahoma Sooners that earned a four-game sweep of the Lobos following Sunday's methodical 6-2 win carried a No. 8 ranking into the series with UNM.
The road weary Lobos also get to play the Frogs in Isotopes Park. The Lobos have played 12 road games in their past 15 outings, notching three wins in their home games.
The Lobos managed to grab the lead first Sunday in Norman, and were outhit by the Sooners by only one hit - 10 to 9. But the Lobos only touched home plate one more time (sixth inning) after going up 1-0 in the top of the second.
The No. 8 Sooners failed to put together a big inning, but scored one run in the second, third, fourth, and sixth innings, and two runs in the fifth. The Sooners got a solid seven innings out of starter Dillon Overton and got good relief out of their bullpen in holding the Lobos to their two runs.
"We knew we rolled the dice throwing this schedule at such a young team," said Lobo Coach Ray Birmingham. "But I'm not going to schedule somebody I know I can beat just to pad a record. We schedule teams we want to beat and teams we know are going to make us better down the road."
Sunday's loss dropped UNM to 16-36 on the season making the Mountain West Tournament the Lobos' only shot at NCAA postseason play. The Lobos have another chance to toughen up for that tourney's automatic NCAA bid when the MWC bully on the block, TCU, visits for three games. The Frogs actually were a preseason No. 1 pick in some baseball polls.
The Lobos grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Ben Woodchick opened the frame with a single to the right side. He advanced to second on a balk and went to the third-base bag on a grounder by Logan Lippert. Woodchick scored off a single to center field by Sam Wilson.
Wilson stole second and went to third on a throwing error by the Oklahoma catcher, but was stranded on that bag when Kyle Stiner flied out to right.
The Lobos were down 5-1 going into the sixth inning when they pushed across their second - and last - run. Luke Campbell opened the inning with a single and was pushed to third on a Woodchick single. The next three Lobo batters made outs, but Campbell scored on a grounder by Quay Grant that led to Woodchick being forced out at second.
Woodchick and Campbell each had two hits for UNM. Richard Olson got the start for UNM and the mound loss. He pitched five innings allowing five earned runs and giving up seven hits. He also walked four Sooners. UNM's Gera Sanchez came out of the bullpen to pitch three innings. Sanchez gave up one run on three hits.
Oklahoma's only multi-run inning came off a two-run home run Tyler Ogle in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ogle went 2-of-4 for the afternoon with three RBIs and one run scored.
The Lobos' series with TCU is the last chance for Lobo fans to see the Lobos at home as that three-game series closes out the regular season. The MWC tourney will be played May 24-28 in San Diego, Calif.