Lobos Finish Regular Season Against Air Force
May 16, 2012
Lobo Baseball - at Isotopes Park
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- UNM closes out the regular season against Air Force and they are still in contention for the regular-season Mountain West championship, which they haven't won since 2000, and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. They trail TCU by one game entering the weekend. Air Force currently sits in fifth place in the conference, which has them on the outside looking in as only the top four teams make the tournament. The Falcons are a game and a half behind UNLV for fourth place.
Against Air Force: The Lobos took two of three from the Falcons Apr. 3-5 in Colorado Springs, Colo. UNM won the first two games by a combined score of 36-2, but lost the finale 1-0. That loss snapped a 22-game winning streak against Air Force. The Lobos have not lost at home to the Falcons in over a decade. The last loss came on Mar. 22, 2002 when the Lobos dropped an 8-4 decision. They have won 23 straight games at home since then.
Series Record: 113-40
Home: 66-14; Away: 44-24; Neutral: 3-2
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
• Scouting Air Force ... The Falcons are looking for a Mountain West tourna- ment bid when they come into Albuquer- que this weekend. They currently sit in fifth place. Only four teams qualify for the tour- nament, so the Falcons will have to sweep the Lobos to get in. Recently, Air Force was swept by TCU over the weekend, but are coming off a 7-6 come-from-behind win against Northern Colorado on Tuesday. Air Force's pitching staff is led by Evan Abre- cht who has the team's lowest ERA, most wins, most innings pitched, and lowest batting average against. The last time the Lobos faced Abrecht he threw a complete game shut-out, the only one against the Lobos this year. Offensively, the Falcon's are led by Garrett Custons, Seth Kline, and Alex Bast, who are all hitting over .300 and all are tied for the team lead with four HR. Custons is slugging .518, which is good for sixth in the conference. The Falcons strug- gle to hit as a team, however, posting only a .248 batting average.
• 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 13th weekly attendance report of the season and the New Mexico Lobos have come in at No. 39 following their home series against UNLV.
• Watch out for Peterson and Garver ... 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. Junior catcher Mitchell Garver has been named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The award is given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher based on athletic ability, sportsmanship, team leadership and character.
• Late-inning mastery ... The Lobos have yet to lose a game this season when they have taken a lead into the seventh in- ning, posting a perfect 25-0 record. They have been particularly dominant in the seventh inning, outscoring opponents 43-20 in that frame.
• Two-strike hitting ... Sixteen of the Lobos' 37 home runs this season have come with two strikes: DJ Peterson (eight of his 14 total), Mitchell Garver (2/9), John Pustay (2/3), Josh Melendez' (1/3), Alex Real (1/2), and Alex Allbritton (1/1) have all hit a two-strike home run this season.
• Walk this way ... Following their dramatic come-from-behind win over in-state rival New Mexico State, the Lobos now have four walk-off wins this year, which is the most since 2006 when they walked off a total of five times.
• It's a walk-off ... When Mitchell Garver launched a two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th on Tuesday, May 15, to defeat New Mexico State, it was the first walk-off home run for the Lobos since Cory Lizarraga's on Mar. 15, 2003, against BYU.
• Wins for Birmingham ... UNM head coach Ray Birmingham recorded his 975th career win Saturday, May 12, when the Lobos defeated UNLV 10-7. The Lobos are also all but assured a winning record this season, which will be the 21st time in the past 22 years that Birmingham has guided a team to a winning record.
• Career years ... Four UNM players are currently experiencing career-highs in batting averages in 2012: DJ Peterson (.418), Mitchell Garver (.384), Ben Wood- chick (.330), and Trey Porras (.312). Also, three UNM pitchers have career-low ERAs this season: Gera Sanchez (2.29), Austin House (3.21), and Alexis Garza (4.72).
• Pitching as a team ... As of May 16 the Lobos' team ERA stands at 4.66, which would be the lowest team ERA UNM has had since producing a 4.13 mark in 1977. The staff is also on pace for 440 strikeouts, which would be the second-most in program history behind only 469 Ks in 1968. Gera Sanchez and Austin House are leading the way with 79 and 74 Ks respectively, and 11 pitchers on the staff have at least 17 Ks.
• Situational hitting ... The Lobos are hitting an astonishing .662 (98-148) with a runner on third and less than two outs. They are also hitting .406 (26-64) with the bases loaded, and .346 (230-665) with two outs.
• Follow my lead ... The Lobos have had their leadoff man reach in 191 of the 460 innings they've played so far this season. That is an on-base percentage of .415.