No. 4 New Mexico Advances To MW Baseball Championship Title Game
RENO, Nev. – The fourth-seeded New Mexico Lobos took down No. 3 Fresno State 9-1 Saturday morning to advance to the 2015 Mountain West Baseball Championship title game, after the game was postponed last night due to heavy rain. The Bulldogs will move down to the loser’s bracket and meet No. 2 San Diego State at 3 p.m. PT this afternoon for the final spot in the championship contest.
New Mexico’s bats remained hot in tournament action with a total of nine runs and three home runs against the Bulldogs. The Lobos have scored in all but five of the 23 innings they have played in so far this week. Carl Stajduhar hit two of the long-distance shots, going 3-for-3 overall with three RBIs and three runs scored. Lane Milligan went 2-for-5, bringing two runs across with his home run. Carson Schneider also excelled for the Lobos on the mound. The sophomore starter held FS scoreless in 7.1 innings pitched, striking out five batters.
“It’s a lot easier pitching when your team’s putting up eight, nine runs a game,” Schneider said. “It’s always fun when you’re playing really well.”
With one out in the top of the first, Danny Collier and Milligan hit back-to-back singles to put Lobo runners on the corners. Collier then darted home on a wild pitch from Fresno State starter Anthony Arias and the Lobos took a one-run lead.
Stajduhar connected for his eighth home run of the season with a solo shot to right field in the top of the second, extending New Mexico’s lead 2-0.
Cory Voss singled to lead off the top of the fourth, followed by a Stajduhar walk. Reece Weber stepped up to bat, tripling to right field and scoring both runners. The Lobos carried a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the inning.
Stajduhar’s second home run came in the top of the fifth when he lifted a ball over the fence in left field. The solo shot gave New Mexico a 5-0 lead.
Milligan joined Stajduhar in the top of the seventh. With a runner on second, the sophomore outfielder sent a ball soaring over the fence in right field to bring the Lobos lead to 7-0. Jack Zoellner tacked on another run for New Mexico with a single right up the middle to bring Voss home to make it 8-0.
The Bulldogs scored their lone run in the bottom of the eighth when, with runners on first and second, Austin Guibor doubled to the wall in right field to bring home one. Taylor Ward popped one up for the third out to strand two.
The Lobos put up one more run in the top of the ninth to take the 9-1 victory.
“This is a very, very young team,” said New Mexico head coach Ray Birmingham. “The thing that’s really impressive about these kids is the fight they still have.”
Guibor went 2-for-4 on the day, bringing home Fresno State’s only run of the game.
The time and day of the title game will be determined following the Fresno State-San Diego State match-up. If the Aztecs win, the title game will be played at 7 p.m. PT on Saturday night with the if necessary game set for Sunday. If the Bulldogs win, the title game will be played on Sunday, May 24 at 11 a.m. PT with the if necessary game to follow at 3 p.m. PT. This is to avoid the possibility of Fresno State playing a triple-header on Saturday should the Bulldogs advance.
You can follow all the MW Championship action at TheMW.com.