Lobos Finish Championship Season With Regional Loss
Courtesy of UNM Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – The University of New Mexico baseball team (39-23) lost for the second time in the NCAA Lubbock Regional Sunday, falling to the Dallas Baptist Patriots (43-18), 5-3. The Lobos finished their season after a MW Conference Championship and a fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament in seven years.
Jack Zoellner and Dalton Bowers each went 2-for-4 on the day. Zoellner had a RBI while Bowers scored a run. Luis Gonzalez and Andrew Pratt each recorded a RBI Sunday.
Dallas Baptist took an early lead after a run in each the first and second innings. Down 2-0, the Lobos tied the game with a run in the second and another in the third. New Mexico picked up its first run in the second without a hit. Jared Mang walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Andre Vigil bunted him over to third before Pratt hit a sac fly to drive in a run.
In the third, New Mexico took advantage of a pair of walks to Jared Holley and Chris DeVito. Zoellner brought in Holley on the Lobos' first hit of the game, a single to centerfield.
The Patriots reestablished a 2-run lead with a run in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Lobos scored their final run of the game to cut it to a one run deficit in the sixth frame. Bowers hit a double to the left field fence, and was immediately sent home off of Gonzalez's through the right side.
The Lobos were in the game until the end, putting runners in scoring position in each of the last three innings. However, after Dallas Baptist scored an insurance run in the eighth, the Lobos could not get the two runners they needed to cross the plate.
The loss marked the final game for eight seniors, all of whom played an intricate role in the Lobos' 39-win season. The Lobos now prepare for the 2017 season, with eight starters from Sunday eligible to return.
"We played two close ball games with two outstanding teams," said head coach Ray Birmingham. "We'll be back in a Regional, we'll be in a Super Regional, and we'll scratch and claw until we get there."
NOTES: The Lobos' 39 wins this season marked the third most in program history and the most during the Ray Birmingham era…The last season of 39 wins or more came in 1985…The Lobos had 20 wins away from home, the most in program history.