A Second Look: A Texas-Sized Comeback
June 18, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Down 13-10 to the Texas Tech Red Raiders on April 25, the University of New Mexico baseball team refused to quit. So the Lobos did something for the first time in seven years: they rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth for an amazing 14-13 win.
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 times in the ninth to defeat BYU 6-5.
The Lobos erased deficits of 6-1 and 13-8 to pull out the stunning victory.
Freshman Michael Baca, batting .083 coming into the game, made his first career start at designated hitter and got the rally in the ninth started with his second hit of the contest. With one out Ben Woodchick singled through the hole between third and short to send Baca to second and bring the tying run to the plate in DJ Peterson.
Peterson lofted a single to left on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases for freshman Ryan Padilla.
Padilla watched the first pitch go for strike one, before lofting a line drive just over the reach of the third baseman into left field. Baca and Woodchick both scored and Peterson went to third to put runners on the corners for Josh Melendez with one out.
Melendez, who had hit a monster three-run homer in the third inning, lashed a hard grounder to Texas Tech third baseman Bo Alboteli. Alboteli threw to second to get the force, but Melendez's hustle down the line caused a hurried relay to first. The throw sailed wide, which allowed Peterson to score the tying run.
Melendez promptly stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. Texas Tech then decided to intentionally walk Trey Porras to face Alex Allbritton.
The junior shortstop waited through two pitches to run the count to 1-1. Then he knocked a looping single to right that allowed Melendez to scamper home from second with the winning run as the team mobbed Allbritton at first base.
"I struggled a little bit early on in the game," Allbritton said. "But I just knew that if I saw the pitch I wanted to hit, then I had a real good chance of putting it in play. And that's what my main goal was."
It was just one win out of 37 for the Lobos in 2012, but it was one of the most dramatic and it exemplified the fight, scratch, claw attitude the team possessed.