Lobos Begin Eight-Game Homestand Against Florida Gulf Coast
April 19, 2012
Lobo Baseball - at Isotopes Park
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - After playing 12 of their last 14 games on the road, the Lobos return home for an eight-game homestand. The team is coming of a two-game, mid-week series sweep at Texas Tech. It is the first mid-week sweep for the team this season. UNM opens the homestand with its first-ever meeting against Florida Gulf Coast. Then the team welcomes Texas Tech for another two-game, mid-week series as the Red Raiders travel to Albuquerque. The homestand concludes as the Lobos return to Mountain West play against UNLV next weekend.
Against Florida Gulf Coast: This is the first meeting between the two schools.
Series Record: 0-0-0
Home: 0-0-0; Away: 0-0; Neutral: 0-0
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
• Scouting Florida Gulf Coast ... The Eagles have struggled at times this season, but own wins at then-No.2 Florida St. and at then-No. 6 Miami. Sophomore catcher Andrew Valencia leads the team with six home runs and 30 RBI, but is batting only .211 on the season. Sophomore first baseman Sean Dwyer was named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week last week, He helped the Eagles to a 3-2 record that included wins over No. 28 FAU and No. 6 Miami. Sophomore Brandon Bednar leads the team with a .281 average. The Eagless, who are batting just .211 as a team, have yet to score more than eight runs in any game this season, reaching that mark six times. The pitching staff is anchored by yet another sophomore, Ricky Knapp. He is 5-3 in nine appearances (eight starts) and has a 1.85 ERA. He has two complete game shutouts and has only allowed 61 basrunners in 63.1 innings pitched.
• We really are New Mexico ... The 2012 New Mexico baseball team has 13 players from the state of New Mexico. It is no secret coach Ray Birmingham wants to take local kids all the way to Omaha. Ever since he got to UNM, he has been a big advocate of recruiting the best local talent New Mexico has to offer.
• UNM top 40 in attendance ... The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its ninth weekly attendance report of the season and the New Mexico Lobos have come in at No. 37 following their home series against Arizona State.
• New Mexico pitching ... On April 14 and 15 against San Diego State, the Lobos trotted out three starting pitchers, each of whom is from New Mexico: Austin House, Albuquerque; Josh Walker, Rio Rancho; Gera Sanchez, Mayfield. This is believed to be the first time in UNM history that the team has started three pitchers from the state of New Mexico in a single weekend series. It is a great testament to the talent to be found in the Land of Enchantment. Each pitcher had an ERA under 4.00 at the time of his start, and the trio have the three lowest ERAs on the team.
• Six and counting... Following their series victory over San Diego State, the Lobos have now won six-consecutive weekend series. They’ve defeated: #22 and previously unde- feated Gonzaga; San Diego State at home and on the road; TCU, to win their first ever home series against the Horned Frogs; the 2008 national champions, Fresno St.;and Air Force. This ties a school record for most consecutive weekend series wins. They last won six-straight weekend series during the 2010 season.
• Honors for Garver ... Junior Mitch- ell Garver has earned his second Mountain West Player of the Week award this season. Over five games from Apr. 9-15 he hit .450 (9-20), scored seven runs, drove in eight, had three doubles, hit his fourth home run of the season, and had a stolen base. He also slugged .850 on the week. It is the third time in his career he has been honored as MW Player of the Week. He was also honored by CollegeBaseballInsider.com as the West Region’s Player of the Week for his play against Arizona State and San Diego State.
• Hits, hits, hits ... The Lobos have reached double-digit hit totals in each of their last four games. This is tied for their longest such streak of the season, having accomplished it twice: from Mar. 16 - Mar. 23, and from Mar. 25 - Mar. 30. UNM has at least 10 hits in 20 of its 37 games this season. Last season they had 26 (out of 61) 10+ hit games.
• Banged up but still fighting ... As the Lobos enter their series against Florida Gulf Coast, several prominent position players are battling through injuries. Senior Ben Woodchick has bursitis in his knee. John Pustay, who had raised his batting average from .192 on Mar. 24 to .323 has an injured hamstring. Josh Melendez, third on the team in batting at .343, is battling a left shoulder sprain suffered against San Diego State. Luke Campbell, projected to be the team’s cleanup hitter coming into the season, has missed every game after taking a foul ball to the face during batting practice two weeks before the season started. Logan Lippert, who started 28 games in the outfield last season and hit .314 in conference play, has missed the entire season as well. “I’ve never seen this many position players go down,” UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. “But the kids are still battling and fighting through it and are tied for first in the Mountain West.”
• Six and counting ... Following their series victory over San Diego State, the Lobos have now won six-consecutive weekend series. They swept No. 22 and previously undefeated Gonzaga from Mar. 9-11, they swept San Diego State to open Mountain West play from Mar. 16-18, they took two games from TCU to win their first ever home series against the Horned Frogs from Mar. 23-25, they took two of three from the 2008 national champions Fresno St. for their first road series win of the season from Mar. 30 - Apr. 1, defeated Air Force in two of three games Apr. 5-7, and now took two of three from San Diego State to finish the season 5-1 against the Aztecs. This ties a school record for most consecutive weekend series wins. They last won six-straight weekend series during the 2010 season.
• Packing the park ... The Lobos drew their largest home crowd of the season on Apr. 10, 2012 against Arizona State. The crowd of 2,067 is the largest crowd at Isotopes Park since the team drew 2,409 against UNLV on Mar. 27, 2011.
• Situational hitting ... The Lobos are hitting an astonishing .657 (69-105) with a runner on third and less than two outs. They are also hitting .432 (19-44) with the bases loaded, and .338 (161-477) with two outs.
• Conference leaders ... Following their series at Texas Tech, the Lobos lead the Mountain West in 11 individual offensive categories, with sophomore first baseman DJ Peterson leading the way in six: batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, home runs, and total bases. Junior Mitchell Garver leads the conference in doubles and at bats. Josh Melendez leads in three categories: triples, steals and steal attempts. As a team they lead the league in seven categories: batting average, slugging percentage, triples, home runs, total bases, sacrifice flies, and stolen bases. Their pitching staff leads the conference in both total strikeouts and batters struck out looking Austin House leads the league in innings pitched, strikeouts and batters struck out looking. Josh Walker is tied for fewest walks allowed with six.