Showdown for First in Fort Worth
May 3, 2012
Lobo Baseball - at Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - They don't get much bigger than this. The Lobos lead the Mountain West with a 12-3 record. TCU is a game behind at 11-4. Each team has only six games remaining in the regular-season following this series. If either team manages to sweep the series, or if the Lobos take two of the games, they will have the inside edge for the regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Lobos are looking to put an end to TCU's run of six-straight MW regular-season championships in the Horned Frogs' last season in the conference before leaving for the Big 12. UNM has not won the regular-season championship since doing so with a 22-8 conference record in the 2000 season.
Against TCU: The Lobos took two out of three from the Horned Frogs at Isotopes Park from Mar. 23-25. It was the first time UNM won a home series against TCU in the program's history. After winning only 13 of the first 50 games they played against TCU, the Lobos have won four out of the past five games versus TCU dating to the Mountain West tournament last season.
Series Record: 17-38
Home: 6-18; Away: 9-18; Neutral: 2-2
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
• Scouting TCU ... The Horned Frogs come into this series on a four-game winning streak and winners of 13 of their past 15 games. Last weekend they swept non-conference foe Manhattan and had a walk-off victory against Oklahoma on Tuesday. They are led by their pitching staff, which has held hitters to a .244 average and have a 3.10 ERA overall. Their projected starters, all underclassmen (two sophomores and a freshman) are 15-3 with none having an ERA above 3.56. Sunday starter and freshman standout Preston Morrison leads the team in innings pitched and ERA, even though he has made only five starts. He is 6-0 with a 1.64 ERA and has held batters to a low .210 average while walking only six batters all season. Andrew Mitchell is the team's strikeout leader, punching out 63 batters in only 48 innings. TCU has struggled offensively this season, hitting a collective .251, which ranks last in the conference. Senior Jason Coats and junior Josh Elander are two bright spots in the lineup, hitting .329 and .317, respectively. They have accounted for 63 of the Horned Frogs' 187 RBI (33.7%) and 10 of their 15 HRs (66.7%). Both players also are on the mid-season watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best amateur baseball player in the country.
• 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 11th weekly attendance report of the season and the New Mexico Lobos have come in at No. 39 following their home series against UNLV.
• Another new record ... A week after setting a new school record with seven straight weekend series wins, the Lobos extended that record to eight straight by sweeping past UNLV.
• Watch out for Peterson ... Sophomore DJ Peterson has been named to USA Baseball's mid-season watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best amateur baseball player in the nation.
• National leader ... Sophomore DJ Peterson is currently leading the nation in total bases (140) and tied for the national lead in hits (80).
• Garver wins 3rd POW award ... Ju- nior Mitchell Garver won his third Mountain West player of the week award in 2012 for his outstanding play from April 23-29. He is tied for the most POW wins this season with teammate DJ Peterson. Over the week Garver hit .591 (13-of-22), had eight RBI, nine runs scored, three doubles, two HR, a slugging percentage of 1.000, and threw out four base stealers. This is the 11th POW awarded to a Lobo this season, which extends the school record that was previously set in 2000 (9).
• Career years ... Four UNM players are currently experiencing career-highs in batting averages in 2012: DJ Peterson (.437), Mitchell Garver (.380), Ben Wood- chick (.335), and Trey Porras (.312). Also, four UNM pitchers have career-low ERAs this season: Gera Sanchez (1.63), Aus- tin House (2.74), Alexis Garza (4.97), and Jake McCasland (5.82).
• Comeback kids ... When the Lobos scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Texas Tech 14-13 on Apr. 25, it was the first time UNM had scored at least four runs in the bottom of the ninth and pull out a comeback win since Mar. 18, 2005, when they scored four in the ninth to defeat BYU 6-5.
• Woody on a roll ... Senior Ben Woodchick has at least two hits in eight of his last nine games. He his hitting .512 (21-41) over those games, with 11 runs, six RBI, three doubles, and three stolen bases. He is slugging .585 and has an on-base percentage of .565.
• Situational hitting ... The Lobos are hitting an astonishing .682 (88-129) with a runner on third and less than two outs. They are also hitting .442 (23-52) with the bases loaded, and .351 (204-582) with two outs.
• Conference leaders... Following their series against UNLV, the Lobos lead the Mountain West in 15 individual offensive categories, with sophomore first baseman DJ Peterson leading the way in seven: batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, hits, home runs, RBI, and total bases. Junior Mitchell Garver leads the conference in doubles, at bats, and total plate appearances. He is tied with Josh Melendez in runs scored. Melendez also leads in three categories: triples, steals and steal attempts. Kyle Stiner is tied for the most sacrifice bunts. As a team they lead the league in 13 categories: batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs, hits, runs batted in, triples, home runs, total bases, total plate appearances, at bats, sacrifice flies, stolen bases, steal attempts, and they have the fewest strikeouts. Their pitching staff leads the conference in both total strikeouts and batters struck out looking Austin House leads the league in innings pitched. Josh Walker leads in batters struck out looking. Gera Sanchez leads the league in total strikeouts and K/9. Sanchez has also allowed the fewest runs and earned runs among all qualified pitchers. The Lobos also lead the league in fielding percentage. Alex Allbritton has been involved in turning 31 double plays, which also leads the MW. Garver is tied for the league lead with the most runners caught stealing.